Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!
THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 10 - number 5
Freemasonry and the Demands of the Times
By Bro. S. PARKES CADMAN, D.D., New York
Dr. Cadman, who is one of the most delightful companions in the world, gave utterance across the dinner table to so many wise things about Freemasonry, some of them almost radical and all of them most pertinent, that Ye Editor asked him to say the same things to the Craft at large through THE BUILDER. What follows is not in the form of his vivacious table talk but it contains the substance - except for a few things which he described as "too prickly for publication, and maybe dangerous withal." Our illustrious brother addresses multitudes of persons every year from pulpit and platform and over the radio; many of these audiences are composed wholly of Masons, for he is an enthusiastic member of "our magnificent Fraternity" (as he himself describes it). From 1895-1901 he was pastor of the Metropolitan Temple, New York; since 1901 he has been pastor of the Central Congregationalist Church, Brooklyn. Among his published volumes "Charles Darwin and Other English Thinkers," "The Three Religious Leaders of Oxford" and "Ambassadors of God" have been notable.
BROTHER Freemason, this mighty Craft of ours can make itself a power for good in this troubled world second to none if only we can get our tremendous strength hitched up to the needs and problems of this hard-hit suffering world. Isn't the whole world in a bad way just now? It surely is! The times we live in are simply crying aloud for just the kind of service that Freemasonry can render and I believe that we should awaken ourselves from the sleep-walking we have fallen into, bestir ourselves a bit, and start out to discover what demands the times are making on us. Three million of us in this country! What an army of righteousness it is if only it will become an army indeed - an organized body of picked men militant in their demands that wars end, human suffering be relieved, hatred and malice done away, and corruption driven out of the seats and centers of government. Why don't our Masonic leaders get busy about this big job; let them mount the tower's, unlimber their trumpets, and sound the call to us in the ranks. "Here we are, Lafayette!" yes, but let us learn to say, "Here we are, World!"
Hatred, bigotry, sectarianism, and racial strife are among the really big evils of our day, and account more largely for what is wrong with the world than most of us would at first suppose. Hatred is the opposite of charity; bigotry makes free thinking impossible; sectarianism is the arch enemy of universality; racial strife makes genuine brotherhood impossible; any one of these is doing as much damage to our race right now as the famous "four horses of the Apocalypse." Can Freemasonry compound with any of these things? not for a moment! I am absolutely opposed in every sense of the words to all the hysterical efforts being apostle par excellence of toleration in all its forms, into any propaganda, movement, cabal, or any other effort, secret or public, toward any form of religious, racial or political sectarianism.
And I am equally opposed to every effort whatsoever to introduce social hysteria into our ranks; play is good and sociability is necessary but not to the exclusion of everything else, least of all if they interfere with the grave and necessary work of the Craft. One of the saddest sights in the world is to see a Masonic lodge, assembled about an altar, every heart open to the glance of the All-Seeing Eye, and working under the hallowed influence of that great symbol the Letter G, transformed into an appendage to a vaudeville performance, or hastily put out of the way for some form of hokum, jazz, dancing or what not. Mind you, I am not at all opposed to good sport, clean fun, and wholesome sociability, which are all good and necessary things; but there is a time to dance, a time to play, even a time for horse-play if we feel the need of that kind of fun, but when that time interferes with the hours set aside for Freemasonry's great task and achievements it is well for us to call a halt. The great danger of the countless interests and activities that are now creeping into the Craft is that these things which should be secondary will become primary, and that what should be diversion on the side usurps the place of the real work of the lodge. We are in danger of getting out of focus and of dispersing our energies, which as I have just said, and as a wise and kind Heaven knows, are sorely needed by our times.
Our Editor has asked me what I would do if I were to become today the Worshipful Master of a lodge. I know one thing I would do: I would thank God for such an opportunity of service. I love the Masonic lodge; it is the one place in my community where without embarrassment or with any form of obtrusive tolerance I can meet as man to man my Jewish neighbours, my neighbours of foreign birth (we have thousands of them in my city), my free thinking neighbour, my neighbour who never attends my church or any other church, my neighbours of no creed or any creed, all my fellow human beings of every possible social and economic stratum. I submit that such an organization as that is a prophecy and earnest of the coming of the Kingdom of God. Therefore as the Master of it I would feel as I feel in my present employment, that I am a humble ambassador of the good will of God to a world that seethes with the ill will of torn, separated, misguided men.
I would try my best, as goes without saying, to hold up to a high standard the prescribed work - the monthly communication, the conferring of degrees, finding work for the unemployed, lending a helping hand to the needy, calling on the sick. In addition to that I believe I would try to do a few things not officially required. If a distinguished citizen came into my community with a real message I would invite him to speak to my brethren, whether he were a Mason or not. I think I should expect my brethren to be good citizens in every possible way; and I would try to get them to read something about Freemasonry itself. All Masons are interested in the public schools; I am interested myself, but I do believe that as at present operated our public schools are falling far short because they so completely omit anything in the way of moral or religious training. It would amaze you to know how many gangsters and gunmen in New York and Brooklyn have graduated from school, but with no more conception of moral obligation than so many Hottentots. Perhaps I would try to get my lodge to lend its influence in that direction. Freemasonry as a whole should do it, because if there is anything we stand for it is the primacy and all-importance of the moral life. What is the meaning of our Ritual if not that?
In all such ways, and in every other possible way, I would endeavour to have my lodge go to work to help build the community. We are builders; what are we building? Shouldn't we try to build this present world into a fit place to live in? It is the demand of the times. A lodge may not be able to do much for the world at large; it doesn't have to, but it can do a lot for the community immediately surrounding it. Masons helped build America; we can help build it anew to the end that the rascality which now so corrupts our politics and social life may be driven out, as the Master drove the thieves from the Temple.
It is a great misfortune that the forces of Freemasonry are so divided. I regret it every day of my life that we have in this land forty-nine Grand Lodges. Can't we somehow get together? If a general Grand Lodge is impossible (I do not always believe that it is; it wouldn't be if we didn't have so much selfishness, lust for vainglory, and so much of the spirit of the politician in our midst) why can't all our Grand Masters and other national leaders hold an annual conference to the end that the moral influence of the Craft be delivered to the world through one united utterance?
I should like to see all the Grand Lodges of the world united. It would be a great step toward international peace. But at the same time I want to see God and the Holy Book kept at the center of the Craft. I know how things are in Europe; I have been there many times. I know how an emancipated free thinking Latin citizen looks upon such matters; to him they stand for many things that have never entered our own life: nevertheless I should like to see him join us in holding Freemasonry to its original foundation. Even for a united world-wide Freemasonry I would not be willing to give up T.S.G.A.O.T.U. or the V.S.L.; such a price would be too much to pay for unity.
Freemasonry has no quarrel with any church. It can (and should) work with all the churches because its own grand purpose is identical with that of religion, and because its own creed is broad enough to include all the creeds. It has no quarrel with any government or any political party; these things are not for us, but at the same time we are the custodian of such principles of citizenship as underlie all governments and we have within our midst a sufficient influence to maintain integrity and cleanliness in every government, whatever it may happen to be. The main thing for us Masons is to hang together, live together, keep together, work together, pray together, and together strive to build in the midst of earth the Temple of right and kindly living, which is the goal of all our efforts. Whatever makes for division, sectionalism, prejudice, and creedal or racial hatred is un-Masonic though it should be proclaimed by all the Grand Lodges in the hemisphere; whatever makes for unity and for charity, for toleration and for kindliness, for our two great dogmas of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, IS Masonic, and we should work for it.
Can't we three million American Masons learn how to make ourselves felt in this land? We don't wish to get into politics or to take sides for or against any of the divisions in the church. We do wish, however, and desire, and the times asks us for it, to give our aid and support to the completion in this continent of that proud and magnificent nation which our forefathers, Masons many of them, dreamed about and wrought for. Together, brethren, let it be done!
George Washington as an Active Mason
By Bro. CHARLES H. CALLAHAN, Grand Master, Virginia
Since the work on the great Washington National Memorial at Alexandria, Va., has been begun the question has frequently been raised, Was George Washington an active Mason, or was he merely, like a few other illustrious men, contented to have his name on the roll? This question has been answered once and for all, one may believe, by the one man who knows most about the subject, Bro. Charles H. Callahan, author of "Washington, the Man and the Mason," in an address delivered before the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, held at Charleston, S.C., March 14, 1923. A part of that address is given below.
SOME of our friends have said that George Washington was a very poor Mason, if a Mason at all; that if he presided over a lodge it was because the lodge wanted to honour itself. Perhaps this is true. And some of our Masonic friends have asked me, why erect a memorial to Washington at all, and if so, why erect it at Alexandria? Now, let us see just for a minute what was the condition of Masonry in Washington's day. He got his degrees in 1752 and 1753. He took up a military career, and was engaged in the army until 1758, away from Mt. Vernon. He returned in 1758 and married the widow Custis, and installed her and her children in Mt. Vernon at the mansion, and for fourteen years he led the quiet life of a farmer, fifty miles from the nearest lodge, which was at Fredericksburg. It would have been a physical impossibility to have any record of his visitations to that lodge for the very sufficient reason that the records were lost from 1755 to 1790. If he ever attended that lodge we could find nothing recorded of the fact because of the destruction of the records.
The Revolution came with all of its harrowing consequences, and Washington and the whole country was dragged into the struggle for American independence, he to lead the forces. Commissioned as Commander-in-Chief in Philadelphia, he wended his way to Cambridge and took command of the Army, and almost immediately after he assumed command a military lodge was organized in the Connecticut lines, and before the Revolution had half closed there were ten of those militant organizations in the Continental Army alone. Each province had its own soldiers, and those soldiers were not required to go beyond the borders of that province.
And then there was a general army called the Continental Army, and it was in that Continental Army that ten lodges were organized. The records have been picked up and patched together as best could be done, and there has been brought to light by the patching together of these destroyed records the fact that Washington, immediately after the beginning of the Revolution, became a zealous and active Mason. The Revolution closed, and he returned home on Christmas Eve, 1783, and the records of old Alexandria, No. 39, showed that two days afterwards he accepted an invitation to attend a banquet given by the lodge. The records show that he did attend that banquet, that he attended five times later, before he was made Master of No. 22. Immediately upon his installation he was called away to preside over the new Government. And it was during that period of his life from the time that he installed that untried government institution which today influences the political virtues of the world that Washington became most active and stands out as one of the most potential figures in Masonry.
We must judge not from his activities in the lodge, not from his activities in the Masonic bodies, but from the deference which was shown to him by the leading Masons of that day. Upon the conclusion of the Revolutionary War the provincial Grand Lodges were conducted on the elective system. Gen. John Sullivan, Major General in the Revolutionary War, became the first Grand Master of his lodge.... Robert Livingston, who swore George Washington in as President of the United States, became Grand Master of New York and presided over its destinies for fifteen years, to be succeeded by General Martin. Col. Aaron Ogden became Grand Master of New Jersey, and R.B. Marshall of Maryland. He had been the Worshipful Master of the first army Union Lodge organized at Cambridge, moved from Maryland to South Carolina during this period and returned to organize and became the second and third Grand Master of your Grand Jurisdiction under the independent system. Edmund Randolph became the first Attorney General in Washington's administration while he was Grand Master of Virginia and Governor of the Commonwealth as well.
General Jackson became Grand Master of the first Grand Lodge of Georgia; North Carolina had four Generals and three Governors as their first Grand Masters, and each had been ranking officers in the Revolutionary War; each and every one of them fought side by side with Washington and each and every one of them in the transition from the old to the new system of lodges deferred to Washington as the Freemason. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts dedicated its first constitution to him; the Grand Lodge of New York did the same; the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania followed suit; the Grand Lodge of North Carolina did the same thing; and the Grand Lodge of Virginia, having first elected him its first Grand Master, which he declined, also dedicated their constitution to him. Wherever he journeyed, whether in the north or south, whether as a private citizen or public functionary, he was tendered all the horrors of a Mason, and was recognized as such by the greatest Masons in the Grand Lodges of this country in that or any other time, and I challenge contradiction. Is it conceivable that these men who bad organized these Grand Bodies would cater to a man who was not a zealous Freemason? Were they of that type? The Revolutionary War was won by red-blooded, live Americans, and Washington stands out as the greatest figure in the fraternal world of that day, and be stands out as the greatest figure in the political and military world of that day.
That is the reason why we should build a memorial to Washington, the Mason. But, brethren, in the last analysis, it is not a memorial to Washington, the Mason, alone. It is a memorial to every Mason whose Grand Jurisdiction deems worthy a place in that Temple, and that is a part of the Constitution. In this Hall of Fame, says that Constitution, there shall be set apart a space which shall be allotted to each Grand Jurisdiction identifying itself with the Constitution, upon which to erect memorials to their illustrious dead. There is not a man in this hall, there is not a man under the sound of my voice that this Grand Lodge could not honour if they want to honour with a place in the Memorial to your own Washington. It is your temple, for your people. It belongs to no section and shall be confined to no age or specific purpose other than to honour worthy men of our Craft.
Present-Day Conditions of Freemasonry
By Bro. JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, Associate Editor, California
"We must learn to let go of the old that ages in order to lay hold of the old that ages not."
EVERY man will look at life, and the things of life, through his own spectacles. These are tinted by his own temperament, and most likely by his own prejudices. However dogmatically he may declare that this and that are self-evidently true, he can express no more than a personal reaction to what are accepted by himself as the governing facts. The value of any reasoned judgment is not so much in the conclusions reached, as in the mode of approach - the finding of a new angle from which to estimate events or tendencies. Thus in writing of present-day conditions of American Masonry the best that can be hoped for is a survey that may be within reasonable distance of the exact truth. However faulty the reasoning or inadequate the expression, the effort here is to present a fairly clear picture of the Craft, to measure its more recent progress and to guess, if no more, at the direction of its travel into the immediate future.
It is to repeat a threadbare commonplace for one to assert that the present is a time of change. As matter of fact life itself is the sum of change, and human society can not be static and continue to exist. But in this our own time events beyond the common have forced shifts and changes so great and sudden that all things are unsettled. Ideas and institutions that had been regarded as most stable have suffered shock and betrayed weaknesses hitherto unsuspected. Petrine foundations and Masonic landmarks have alike been tested and often found wanting. Wise men are digging about the bases of their social structures, to discover what parts are weakened or decayed, that so repairs may be made, and collapse avoided.
This may seem a strange preface in speaking of an institution that has somewhat foolishly boasted of its immutability. For there have been and still are brothers who will have it that Masonry cannot suffer change. For them the landmarks are immovable, and he who would suggest innovation, whether in form, method or ideals, is regarded as a profaner of the temple. Yet every social agency is governed by the laws of being; life is predicated on adaptability to changing environment. The course of time is littered with the ruins of institutions that have failed to adapt themselves to changing conditions.
"All human things," says Carlyle, "are, have been and forever will be, in movement and change.... How often, in former ages, by eternal creeds, eternal forms of government, and the like, has it been attempted, fiercely enough, and with destructive violence, to chain the future under the past ... Man's task here below, the destiny of every individual man, is to be by turns Apprentice and Workman; or, say rather, Scholar, Teacher, Discoverer; by nature he has a strength of learning, for imitating; but also a strength for acting, for knowing on his own account.... The true past departs not, nothing that was worthy in the past departs; no truth or goodness realized by man ever dies, or can die; it is all still here, and, recognized or not, lives and works through endless change."
It is the growing sense of impending change - of insecurity if you will - that in opinion of the present writer is the most remarkable and most encouraging condition in present-day Masonry. In our Fraternity, as in all other truly living institutions, there is a clash of opinions, becoming increasingly vehement as the issues are more clearly defined. The differences between modernist and fundamentalist are not confined to the churches; in every social agency there is debate between the static and dynamic elements. In proportion as there is vigour to such discussions will be the vitality of the institution. One might have despaired a few years ago of any real intellectual life in Masonry; today he will be encouraged by the evidences of mental activity and of thought devoted to the better things of the Craft.
There are some few radicals in Masonry - stormy fellows, who would indiscriminatingly destroy as preliminary to any rebuilding, to whom repair and adjustment are words abhorrent. They are matched at the other extreme by a diminishing number of die-hard conservatives, who would yield no jot or tittle of the heritage received from the fathers. The great body of thinking Masons, however, are between these extremes; Masonic modernists and fundamentalists are alike concerned for the welfare of the Society, however much they may dimer as to the means that should be employed to assure its permanency. From the discussions that have already begun, and that will be carried on with increasing vigour, we can believe that the proper course will emerge. Only the most extreme of the conservatives will hold out against the necessity for change; the extent and method will require the wisdom of the Craft to decide. The very nature of the brotherhood precludes aught that is revolutionary. Masons whose thought is worth considering will agree, with Bacon, that "men in their innovations should follow the example of time itself; which indeed innovateth greatly, but quietly, by degrees scarce to be perceived."
Revolutions are short-lived; they exhaust themselves of very fierceness. They mark the threshing-floors that God has placed through the centuries, whereon with bleeding feet men have beaten out some grain of truth from the gathered chaff of error and of wrong. In spite of some of the wild-eyed prophets of disaster no thinking American will fear material revolution. But there are also revolutions of thought that silently shake all social edifices. Who will deny that some such revolution is even now causing strange movements in our country? Our whole social system is being subjected to strains. Men are inquiring as to open wrongs and hidden iniquities. At such time no individual or institution can sit by indifferently.
Masons, among others, are realizing that the Craft, as a social agency, must assume its full share of responsibility; must seek out its duty and bend every energy to its performance. It is not enough to say, at this juncture, that every real Mason can be depended upon to act as a good citizen should. Good causes are carried to victory by mass effort. The potentiality of Freemasonry in the United States is beyond aught we have dreamed. It can and should be used to strengthen the forces that are striving for the triumph of good. The matters that are of partisanship are not within our province; the great problems that affect human life in all relationships, wherein justice is concerned - these certainly are not foreign to Masonry, unless all our professions are to expend themselves in words. It is for Masonic lodges to seek out the truth in the affairs that are vital to the community or the nation. Having found out the right, there is but one side the Craft can take.
THERE IS A NEW NOTE IN THE FREEMASONRY OF TODAY
This writing, however, is not an argument, but rather a brief survey of the situation. One must be dull indeed who has not recognized in the Masonry of today a new and serious note; a growing desire on the part of brothers to be informed in such manner that their Masonry will have a richer meaning. They are carefully and cautiously taking steps toward a more practical and positive conception of the Craft. They are asking that it shall aid them more effectively to self-realization, that it shall also give them an outlet for energies hitherto repressed or expended in lines less responsive and less deserving of confidence. American Masonry is seeking to descend from the sterile heights, is slowly but surely equipping itself to strive valiantly for God and humanity. Who, then, shall say it nay?
To the mind of this writer it is but part of this same spirit of change for the better that men are seeking the spirit of Masonry with less regard for its letter. One may wonder at times whether relaxation of the old regulations as to the quality of men admitted is always wise. Yet, to take the matter of physical perfection as an example, the old requirement was frequently carried to absurd lengths. Trivial imperfections were regarded by some authorities as sufficient to bar men of high quality and unexceptionable character. Today stress is laid rather upon qualifications of head and heart, and less on missing finger-joints or crooked toes. Only again one asks whether in many cases the eagerness to secure members does not prompt repudiation of the former rules of selection. This also opens inquiry as to the great numbers that are clamouring for admittance at the doors of all our lodges. Are these all "duly and truly prepared" in heart and mind? Or are they brought hither by expectations that can never be satisfied, and by desires that are not in harmony with the spirit and purposes of Masonry? Because of this unprecedented influx our lodges are condemned to labours that are, at the best, but secondary. It is an absurdity to declare that these are Master Masons, properly instructed and having skill of craft, who have been perfunctorily conducted through the initiatory ceremonies of the degrees. But here also is cause for encouragement. Grand Lodges have recognized the fact that the education of a Mason is not completed when he has learned a few signs and grips and can make passable answers to some short catechetical form. Tentative programs are being prepared and experimented with, having as object the information of brothers, so that they can more effectively work as builders on the temple of humanity.
With these always well-meant and sometimes wise efforts to further Masonic education there has been a dropping of much that before brought ridicule upon the Fraternity. Some few persist in attaching to the institution a mystical or occult content or significance. These are the jugglers of words; men whose ballast of reasoning is insufficient to hold down the lighter cases of imagination, and who go ballooning in cloud-land whithersoever the vagrant winds of fancy may blow. Men of today are apt to turn from that one who claims to discover portentous secrets in some dust-heap of time, or who affects by jumbled numbers or unmeaning words to come upon a wisdom transcending human wit.
OUR FREEMASONRY IS FORWARD LOOKING
Freemasonry of our time is forward looking. What it may have received from the past of value will be jealously preserved. But not every dust-covered relic of a time gone by is worth preservation. The antique tools and arms of our predecessors may have place in a museum; they are no longer for use for our generation. Our great society is a matter-of-fact affair. Its manner of birth and course of development are sufficiently well known to us so that we can put its history under scrutiny, nor fear that we are profaning some sacred thing in putting out our hands in inquiry or examination. Freemasonry is, and has been from the beginning, a middle-class society. Its membership is a fair cross section of the best and staunchest elements of our American life. We have among us no school of the prophets, no workers of magic, whether white or black.
For the most part the Craft is made up of intelligent men, honest and reliable in all the relationships of life. The society was formed for mutual assistance, and its purposes remain unchanged as signified in the ternary of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. It has unused capital in the good opinion of the world, the loyalty of its adherents, and it stands beyond any other secular society in its potentialities. That it has enemies is a point unduly stressed by some. The greatest enemy of Freemasonry is to be found within itself - the ignorance of some and the indifference of many more. These stifle the noblest aspirations, and render ineffective the efforts of brothers who have the vision and would lead the Craft to fields of resultful labour.
It is no disheartening study to view the Masonic field. We discover a great society moving slowly but surely to its appointed work for human good, becoming possessed of a conviction of its high mission, unwilling longer to waste time and energies in mere barrack ground maneuvers, but demanding a place in the armies of righteousness.
"Not in vain the distance beacons, forward, forward let us range;
Let the great world spin forever down the ringing grooves of change."
Ancient Egyptian Order of Sciots
By Bro. JESSE M. WHITED, Associate Editor, California
In response to many requests for information concerning the Order of Sciots, we requested Bro. Whited, Pharaoh of the Supreme Pyramid, to prepare a statement concerning that organization which has grown so rapidly on the West Coast. Further information may he had by addressing THE BUILDER or by writing to Bro. Whited direct at 354 Pine Street, San Francisco, Cal.
THE Ancient Egyptian Order of Sciots originated in San Francisco in 1905, to apply in a practical way the precepts of the great Masonic Fraternity. The form of government adopted provides for a Supreme Pyramid meeting annually in November, with power to establish subordinate bodies. The Supreme Pyramid is composed of the Toparch, or presiding officer of the subordinate bodies, which are known as "Pyramids," and elective representatives from each Pyramid.
The Sciots as Masons are endeavouring to furnish a new interpretation of service to their Fraternity. Composed of Master Masons in good standing it aims to apply in civic and political affairs the truths inculcated in the Blue Lodge Ritual. They particularly stand openly for American institutions including the public school and religious freedom. It is not "avowedly" anti anything, but openly and frankly American and Masonic. From a dozen members in 1905 the organization has grown until it is composed of 42 Pyramids in California and one in Nevada, with a combined membership of 21,000.
The ritualistic work is founded upon an event that occurred about 1124 B.C. when the Egyptians visited the Isle of Chios in the Aegean Sea and discovered there an association known as the "League of Neighbours," which was organized for the purpose of mutually promoting the welfare and happiness of its members. "Boost one another" is the slogan of the order.
Among its stated objects is the union of all Master Masons in a closer bond of friendship, fellowship and cooperation. The Sciots hold that their most important duty as citizens is to stand for the enforcement of law and order, to participate in national, state and municipal affairs by the exercise of the franchise. The Pyramid is an open forum for the discussion of questions of general interest, under the strict prohibition that there must be no partisan or personal discussions, and that the name of the order must not be used to further purely political or religious purposes or indulge in direct anti religious propaganda.
Class distinction based on political, social or financial standing is denounced. Clean, wholesome entertainment, clean advertising in a clean press are sponsored as the indispensable concomitants of an established social order. The Sciots teach that "Your neighbours' assistance and cooperation in your business affairs can be made kindly without obtrusion. There is needed sometimes the strong grip, not of a dues-paying lodge member merely, but of a friend to help you over the rough places of life; a kind word spoken in your defense. A watchful care over you in your journey through life is worth more than the most beautiful requiem, the most glowing eulogy, or an imposing mausoleum."
In line with the order's application of "operative Masonry," the various Pyramids have devoted their activities to such matters as the establishing of scholarships for the children in the Masonic Home at Covina, Cal.; sponsoring and assisting chapters of the Order of De Molay; assisting financially the Salvation Army and cooperating with such groups as the students of the University of California in building their Masonic clubhouse. Teachers' associations have been aided to advance the prestige of the public school. As a force for good in the community, the Sciots hold a valued place. The world needs their good offices not only as Masons but as champions of its teachings, pyramiding respect for law and its sanctity through enforcement as first and foremost objectives.
American Indian Masonry
By Bro. ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
It is the misfortune of most writers on the American Indian and his affairs that they know their subject only from books, and hence lack that sympathetic and intuitive insight which is necessary to a complete understanding; also they are frequently so academic in their interest that their pages grow as dry as the grass in August. Not so with Bro. Parker, who knows his subject "in his blood" and who writes with a poetical flair that comes only from the most sympathetic and whole-hearted interest. The second (and more thrilling) part of his narrative will be published next month; it will contain a vivid description of an actual Indian initiation. Our thanks are due to the Buffalo Consistory, A.A.S.R.N.M.J.U.S.A. and to the author for permission to republish here what has been printed in book form under the title "American Indian Masonry."
A TALL bronze skinned guide led the way over an ice rutted road. The journey toward the mysterious East had been commenced. Following the guide in single file were four and yet three, for one was the conductor in whose presence the three were assured safety from all danger not of their own making. In all there were five, for such is the order of the journey.
It was in the land of the Senecas, those most powerful confederates of the famous Six Nations of the Iroquois. To this land in the Valley of the Cattaraugus had journeyed the Commander-in-Chief of Buffalo Consistory with three other members of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Masonry. The time was midwinter in the moon of Nis-ko-wuk-ni, the appointed time when the great Thanksgiving of the Senecas takes place in a nine day celebration. During this season of gratitude to the Great Spirit the various fraternities and ceremonial associations hold sessions and a few of them give public exhibitions. Not so, however, with one whose work is all in secret, and into whose chamber only those purified and loyal are admitted.
The guide led on and the four followed, three being candidates for initiation. The glimmering light held by the guide cast an uncertain ray upon the trail that penetrated the moonless winter night. It was not an easy path nor was there sound footing on this trail to that which was sought. At length a lodge was reached. Behind drawn curtains there were faint gleams of light. Four sharp knocks were given and the door opened a crack while a sentinel stepped out to examine those who craved admittance. A curious passerby might have seen by a hurried glance that the form of the lodge was an oblong, that there were two altars, upon one of which was placed a tray of incense and a heap of strange paraphernalia. But the door soon closed, and hours afterward the sounds of a peculiar chant, the blend of wild forest sounds mingled with a strange rushing noise like that of a great cataract floated out from the walls of the lodge-house. What was happening within?
IS THERE AN UNDISCOVERED MASONRY?
When the traveler or the ethnologist returns from his journey to one of the world's out-of-the-way places and comes again into the society of his friends and brothers, he finds that there are certain subjects that are of perennial interest and that men are curious to know what he has learned of them. Not the least among these subjects is Freemasonry. It is not the Freemason alone who is curious of Freemasonry; every man who enjoys the society of his fellow men and who sees in the symbols that are found in the world about him moral lessons that admonish him to virtue, sees also in all Cosmos the potentialities of Masonry. Thus the student who has penetrated the strange lands and places of Earth is called upon to tell what other races and peoples know of mystic orders that bind men to morality and brotherly devotion.
In America we are asked what the native Red Man has of Masonry and if he has signs, grips and words like those of the ancient Craft. Oftentimes the question comes direct: "Are American Indians Masons?" Rumors have long been afloat that there are tribes that have Masonic lodges and that Masons traveling amongst them have been greeted by familiar signs and words and even led into lodges where ceremonies were conducted in due form. Is it then true that in some way our ancient brethren have traveled in unknown parts and among scarcely known people and have communicated the rituals that we hold must be inviolate; or that they have issued dispensations to these veiled lodges by which they may work under competent jurisdiction? How much of Masonry do these extra-limital Masons know, and how well do they keep and conceal from the profane their secret arts? If, perchance, they did not receive their Masonry from moderns, where in the annals of antiquity did they discover it?
Such are the questions that are directed to the traveler who has observed the customs of the outer-peoples of the world. In asking such questions the interrogator assumes more than he may rightly do, but then, he only desires a correct impression and the true facts of the case
WAS THE RED MAN A CRAFTSMAN AND BUILDER?
Except in the southwest the Indians erected no great buildings of stone. In the northwest, especially along the coast, there were elaborate building of wood, built in the familiar log cabin style, but having carved pillars, posts and heraldic devices. Not strange to relate, perhaps, is the fact that in these two areas where building and craftsmanship was so highly specialized, numerous fraternities existed. In other regions, especially in the area of the great plains, the dwellings were more simple. On the east coast and extending well into the Mississippi valley on the eastern side many of the Indian nations were village and town dwellers living in bark covered houses, some of them large and roomy. The Iroquoian peoples, for example, had "long houses" built of poles, tree trunks and bark. Their towns were surrounded by stockades of tree trunks, sometimes three rows being used. Unlike the Indians of the plains who must move as the buffalo herds moved, the east coast Indians were more or less sedentary. They were thus able to build up a compact form of government and to evolve a well knit system of social organization.
In digging into the earth where once arose these ancient towns of the red men we discover the durable artifacts made by their craftsmen. Working only with tools of shine and bone they made many beautiful objects, the form and symmetry of which excites the admiration and applause of modern observers. The archaeological museums of America contain numerous examples of the Indian's handiwork. From these things we learn that the native American of old had a keen eye, a skillful hand and a sense of balance and harmony of form that is scarcely equalled today. Take any well made and polished hatchet-head of stone (sometimes called celts, and often erroneously "skinning stones"), and by placing it on a smooth, level surface you will discover that it can be spun on one side, the axis being plainly visible and the balance perfect. Here is a demonstration of a studied attempt to perfect the art of balance and of symmetry.
The Indian's knowledge of form is proven by an inspection of their implements. They produced polished spheres, oviods, crescents, circles, squares, circular disks, triangles, hemispheres, pyramids, etc. In drawing geometrical designs, however, they seldom went beyond an octagon. The Indian, it will be seen, had his form of the plumb, the level, the square and the compasses.
There will be some who will state that the Indians never made objects that reveal craftsmanship but that such things are the work of the "mound builders." Such persons are not well informed of modern research, for if they were they would know that the mound builders were Indians and that the old time theory of the mysterious "Mound Builders" is an exploded myth. Indians built the mounds and made all aboriginal artifacts found in them. Documents have been discovered that prove that the French and Spanish explorers saw the Indians erecting mounds. All the archaeological authorities now know that America had no "mysterious race that was vanquished by the Indians."
(To be concluded next month)
A Review of Cryptic Masonry
By Bro. GEORGE W. WARVELLE, P.G.M., Illinois
Cryptic Masonry, as that Rite is known which includes the degrees of Royal and Select Master (and sometimes the degree of Superexcellent Master), has its name from the fact that its ceremonies are symbolically connected with a crypt or secret vault. Its growth during the past few years has been extraordinary, a significant thing in view of the fact that it stands on its own bottom and is not used as a stepping-stone to some other Rite. Bro. Fay Hempstead, Little Rock, Ark., is General Grand Master; Bro. Henry W. Mordhurst, Fort Wayne, Ind., is General Grand Recorder. Bro. Warvelle has contributed to the literature of the Rite a number of essays of permanent value, one of the most useful of them being a historical review, the first part of which follows. The next General Assembly will be held at Portland, Me., Sept. 8 and 9, 1924.
AMONG the many systems of Exalted Masonic Symbolism now practiced in the United States, none have received a more general recognition or hearty acceptance than the beautiful allegory known as the Rite of the Secret Vault. Yet, like the great mass of our traditions, degrees and ceremonial observances, its origin is unknown, and its early history, for the most part, consists merely of legends that are incapable of verification and, in some instances, unworthy of belief. Its fundamental principles may, indeed, be traced to the English Masonry of the revival, but there is no evidence that the degrees, as such, were ever known or practiced outside of our own country prior to the commencement of the present century, and the preponderating opinion of Masonic archaeologists now is that they are the works of the early American ritualists. I have, in my former addresses before these conventions, endeavoured to discuss, in a general and possibly not altogether satisfactory way, these phases of the subject, and to present to you my own views and conclusions with respect thereto; yet, as fancy and fable have well nigh obscured the real facts, much must necessarily be left to conjecture, and it therefore follows that any conclusion, however carefully formed, must still be open to doubt and susceptible to impeachment. Today, however, I stand on more certain ground, and in the remarks which follow, I shall endeavour to show, in brief epitome, the growth and development of the Cryptic Rite on the lines of fairly authenticated history.
Dismissing from our consideration the apocryphal story of the transmission of the degrees from Frederick the Great and their subsequent exploitation by the Inspectors General of the Rite of Perfection, it may be said that the history of Cryptic Masonry, as a coherent and connected system, commences with the year 1818, and that it owes its present existence to the zeal or cupidity, or both combined, of Jeremy L. Cross. It has been clearly established that Cross received the degree of Select Mason from Philip P. Eckle, at Baltimore, in May, 1817, and thereupon actively entered into the work of its dissemination; that early in 1818 he, in some manner, became "possessed" of the degree of Royal Master Mason, which, prior to that time, had been mainly controlled by Thomas Lownds and his associates, and that he then conceived the project of uniting the two and forming a new system, to which he gave the name of Royal and Select Masters. The exact time when this was consummated has never been definitely ascertained, but Josiah H. Drummond who has carefully run down the early Cross Charters, fixes the event at some period between May and August of the year 1818. It does not seem, however, that the plan was fully perfected until the year following. From this period, then, may be dated the commencement of the Cryptic Rite and its existence as an organized branch of Freemasonry.
But in order to obtain a more intelligent conception of the development and progress of the Cryptic degrees during the years which have intervened since Cross first gave them publicity, it will be necessary to indulge in a brief retrospect of the high degrees, generally, during the same period, and to institute a few comparisons between the United States and other countries where they are practiced.
The original purport of all "high degrees" was superior knowledge; the possession of some part of the mysterious arcana unknown by or denied to the great mass of the initiated. As a necessary corollary, membership was limited in point of numbers, and the exclusive character thus imparted, formed one of the earliest and strongest incentives for their acquisition. This was the general condition of high-grade Masonry in the United States at the time Cross entered upon his Cryptic mission, and which so continued for many years, and this, practically, is its special characteristic in England and Continental Europe at the present time. It was not expected that the multitude would either desire or appreciate the more profound philosophy of the high degrees, nor was it intended that they should participate in the ultimate secrets, and in all countries, except our own, this policy has never been departed from. During those early years many initiates failed even to attain the Master's Degree, while the number who were admitted to the mysteries of the Royal Arch were few indeed. In the chivalric orders the same rule prevailed. The Knights Templar was then, as now, the popular branch of these orders, but as they appealed at that time only to the intellectual and religious element of the Craft, their numbers were ever of the most limited character. If we may judge from the published transactions of the first thirty years of the present century, I think I make no misstatement when I say that in point of numbers and influence the Cryptic Rite equalled, if, indeed, it did not exceed, that of the Order of the Temple, and this was its comparative standing when, in 1829, the blight of Morganism fell upon the Masonic world. From 1830 to 1840 the high degrees, generally, were in a dormant condition. From 1840 to 1850 there was a period of convalescence, but it was not until 1860 that full recovery was effected. About this time the A.A.S.R. commenced to relax its theretofore exclusive character, by the creation of working bodies; two years later the Grand Encampment gave impetus to Templarism by discarding the ancient badge of a Mason - the apron - which, prior to that time, had always been worn, and adopting a showy uniform and the mimicry of military usages. The Council, which, in the general awakening, had measurably kept pace with other organizations, then commenced to suffer by comparison, yet at all times its numbers have been fairly in proportion to the number of Master Masons in the country, and gauged by the standards which prevail elsewhere, and to which I have just alluded, its growth, though not large, has yet been eminently satisfactory and in keeping with its traditions and declared exclusive character.
In this review I shall treat this subject by topics, rather than attempt to follow a general chronological sequence, and as an introduction to the events of later periods, shall first say a few words with respect to
Before and during the experimental stages of constitutional organization the "superior grades" were handled mainly by itinerant lecturers and degree peddlers, as an article of merchandise, for the benefit of the ambitious and credulous. Men purchased what was offered with little or no inquiry as to the seller's title or right to convey, while manufactured pedigrees and forged deeds were generally sufficient to satisfy those who perchance might demand an inspection of the muniments. Therefore, like most of the other "high degrees" practiced in the United States, those of the Cryptic curriculum will not bear severe critical investigation in tracing the derivation of the authority by which they are conferred. While there are legitimate and recognized sources from which they flow, yet the channels of transmission, in many cases, are either unknown or unconnected with the original fountain. The records of a number of jurisdictions show that in many instances Councils were established on no other authority than such as they assumed for themselves or the equally doubtful powers of some self-constituted "deputy" or "agent," while the degrees, in numberless instances, were "conferred" individually by simple oral communication and without any pretense of authority or semblance of right other than that which accompanies mere possession.
The authentic remains of the early history of Cryptic Masonry in many jurisdictions furnishes abundant examples of the foregoing remarks, and the beginnings of the Rite in Massachusetts afford, perhaps, as good an illustration as can be cited. It would seem that as early as 1817 several Royal Arch Masons residing at Boston who, in some way not now known, had obtained the degree of Royal Master, after a mutual consultation determined, of their own motion, to establish a Council. They accordingly met and organized by the election of officers, selection of a name and adoption of bylaws, and from that time on continued to confer the degree of Royal Master on such persons as were found to be qualified and desirous of receiving it. The Council increased rapidly in numbers and popularity; individuals from other parts of the state came to Boston and received the degree and, on returning home, assisted in organizing Councils in their respective localities. Thus the degree was diffused, and as late as 1826 only two Councils in the state are known to have had charters, each Council resting solely on its own authority and acting in an independent capacity. The same conditions will be found to have prevailed in many other states. But time, the great healer, has long since cured these congenital infirmities, while the twin forces of attraction and cohesion have welded into a compact and homogeneous mass the contending and ofttimes incongruous elements which compose the early and widely separated Councils of the country.
Aside from a few unauthenticated instances of communication by certain of the "Inspectors General," the primary dissemination of the degrees, in organized bodies, and under constitutional authority, must be conceded to Wilmans and Eckle at Baltimore, and Lownds at New York, the former controlling the Select, the latter the Royal Degree. The Baltimore body, if indeed it can be called a body, never seems to have developed into a permanent organization, but rested rather in the caprice of the "chiefs" who controlled, or assumed to control, the degree of Select Mason. By these men temporary Councils were organized whenever it was deemed expedient and the degree was conferred upon persons of their own selection. During the entire period of its exploitation by Williams, Eckle and Niles, commencing at about 1795 and ending with the assumption of jurisdiction by the Grand Chapter of Maryland in 1824, it does not seem that any body, bearing any similitude to those then or subsequently established to control or confer the other degrees of Masonry, was ever organized. There was indeed a vague and ill-defined something known as the Grand Council over which Eckle was supposed to preside as "Grand Puissant," but this body never materialized sufficiently to afford a good view, and from all that we can learn it would seem that Eckle, as Grand Puissant, held and conferred the degree in a sort of proprietary right.
Lownds, on the other hand, subjected his degree of Royal Master Mason to constitutional authority by the organization, in 1810, of a permanent body for its control and diffusion, and this body, which has successfully withstood all the mutations of time and the vicissitudes of fate, is still in existence as Columbian Council, No. 1, of New York.
From these two bodies, mediately or immediately, is derived the Cryptic system instituted by Cross in 1818, and promulgated by him and his "deputies," as well as appropriated and imitated by others who came after him.
For a number of years Cross was very active in establishing Councils and conferring degrees. The common report says that he found the business very lucrative and as none of his charter fees ever found their way to his reputed principal, the "Grand Council of the Select" at Baltimore, there is much reason to believe that these rumours were not altogether unfounded. Finding the growing demand beyond his power to supply without aid, he deputized one Cushman to assist him in the work and a number of Councils were organized by his lieutenant. Rival peddlers afterwards appeared upon the scene, the most active of whom was John Barker, who worked as an "agent" of the "Supreme Council of the United States," and by virtue of the "high power" in him vested by the "Grand Constitution of the Thirty-third Degree," sold Cross' lectures and organized Councils. The combined efforts of these organizers, together with others of lesser note, soon had the effect of producing a very thorough and wide-spread diffusion. Cryptic Masonry became popular; it was cheap and at the same time "way up," and had nothing interfered to stop its onward march we may reasonably assume that it would in time have developed the full beauty of its still latent symbolism and have become one of the great Masonic expositors of the world. But being an exotic, it was acutely sensitive to every depressing influence, and when by 1830 the fires of fanaticism had been fanned to their fiercest heat nearly every Council in the country had ceased its labours and passed into a condition of dormancy. For a period of ten years, or from 1830 to 1840, the Cryptic page is almost a blank. Then came a slow awaking, but in many localities dormancy had passed into death, and so complete was the extinction that even the memory of Councils and Grand Councils was lost until in after years the student, groping amid the debris of long forgotten days, discovered and brought to light the old records and other evidences of former life. From 1840 to 1850 may be termed the period of the revival, and from this latter date until the present time the Rite has made substantial progress, but with periods of depression that can be better explained in connection with other topics embraced in this review.
While the degree of Royal Master seems to have been originally conferred on Master Masons, that of Select Master has always been considered as an extension or explanation of the Royal Arch Degree, and its earliest known exploitation was as an adjunct of a Chapter or under Royal Arch auspices. This was its distinctive character while it remained under the control of Companions who first gave it publicity at Baltimore, and the only authority for its dissemination ever received by Cross, contemplated the retention of this idea, and although it was soon abandoned by him, its effect was visible for many years, and is still urged in those jurisdictions where Capitular domination continues to be exercised.
In the year 1824 it was formally incorporated as a part of its system by the Grand Chapter of Maryland, and thence-forward, until very recent years, continued to be worked in its regular scale of Capitular degrees. About this time numerous self-constituted "agents" and emissaries were driving an active and lucrative business in the sale of the degrees, which induced the Maryland Companions to appeal to the General Grand Chapter. The matter came up at the session held in 1829, when a resolution was adopted recommending the Councils to place themselves under the authority of State Grand Chapters, and granting authority to the Grand Chapters to make such arrangements as might be found necessary for conferring the Cryptic degrees in the Royal Arch Chapters of their obedience. While the General Grand Chapter thus formally recognized the degrees of Royal and Select Master as legitimate parts of the Capitular system, it did little or nothing in the way of carrying out the resolution of 1829, and in 1844, upon the revival of Cryptic interest, the matter again came before it when, after reaffirming the resolution of 1829, a rule was entered, that the conferring of the Cryptic degrees should be subsequent to that of the Royal Arch. In 1850 a committee was appointed to inquire into the expediency of forming a General Grand Council for the United States, but this committee reported that the measure was inexpedient, and the matter was dropped. In 1853 the Cryptic question was again presented, but by this time Councils and Grand Councils had very generally assumed jurisdiction and labour, and the question was definitely settled by the adoption of a resolution declaring that the General Grand Chapter and the governing bodies of Royal Arch Masons affiliated with and holding jurisdiction under it had no rightful authority or control over the Royal and Select Degrees, and thereafter would entertain no question growing out of the government or working of the same. Thus matters remained until the Session of 1877, when petitions were received from several Grand Chapters asking permission to take cognizance and jurisdiction of the Cryptic degrees, and permit the conferring of same by their constituent Chapters. The matter was referred to a committee, who reported adversely to the prayer of the petitioners, but the General Grand Chapter was "on the fence" that year, and consideration of the report was postponed until the next ensuing Triennial session. In the meantime, the Grand Chapters pursued their own course, and when the General Grand Body reconvened in 1880, nine of its constituents had practically absorbed the Councils in their respective jurisdictions.
Of the attitude of State Grand Chapters but little can be said based upon official action. In Virginia, at an early day (1841), a mistake of fact induced a dissolution of the Grand Council and a surrender of the degrees to the Chapter which has ever since retained them. Michigan, at its organization, assumed control over the degrees as of right. Maryland always maintained that position, but in most of the states they were tolerated simply when conferred under the auspices of the Chapter. After the decisive action of the General Grand Chapter in 1853, the state bodies generally disclaimed jurisdiction, and from that time until the "merger," the Cryptic degrees were recognized as an independent and totally distinct branch of the American Masonic System.
(To be concluded next month)
Great Men Who Were Masons
Captain George H. Derby
By Bro. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P.G.M., District of Columbia
GEORGE H. DERBY, the father of American wits, was, after graduating from West Point in 1846, commissioned second lieutenant in the Ordnance and then, after three months of service, was transferred to the Engineers. In 1847 he was promoted "for gallant and meritorious conduct at the battle of Cerro Gordo, Mexico"; in 1860 he was made a captain.
Captain Derby was born in Dedham, Mass., in 1823, and died in New York in 1861, at the early age of thirty-eight. As a wit he had no peer, ante-dating Artemus Ward, Bill Nye, Mark Twain and the other well known American humorists, though his humor was very different from theirs.
He received a serious wound in the Mexican War which incapacitated him for very active service so, there being no retired list in the army at that time, he was employed on such surveys as the Lighthouse Establishment and other inland services demanded. He was a member of San Diego Lodge, No. 35, San Diego, Cal., and was a Past Master when he affiliated with that lodge.
Captain Derby conducted the explorations in Minnesota in 1849, and from that region went to the Pacific Coast. He had not the distinction of being a "forty-niner" but came near being a "spring of fifty." The writer has found many pioneers of the Golden State who knew Derby well. He made the first survey of the harbor of San Diego, the second largest on the west coast, and had charge of the Military Roads Department of the Pacific in the early days. In 1856 he became surveyor of the United States Coast Survey, and also Lighthouse Engineer.
But he never seemed to have enough to keep him busy. Over the pen name of "John Derby," also "Phoenixiana," he wrote the famous "Squibob Papers," "The Ladies' Relief Society," "Inauguration of the New Collector," etc., and at times wrote editorials for the San Diego Herald. The Herald was a prominent political paper with much power in California. Once when the editor had to leave town for a few days he left Captain Derby in charge and behold! Derby changed the politics of the paper in one well written editorial. The joke seemed particularly pleasing to the "slopers" from one end of the state to the other, so that the laughter was loud and long.
Derby was accurate in his figures and, being a particularly good draughtsman, made very acceptable reports to the War and Treasury Departments. But when writing reports of his surveys he managed to incorporate many humorous stories. An example of these yarns is found in one of his books wherein he tells of his determination of the terminals and the length of Kearney street, which at that time was the principal thoroughfare of San Francisco. After making his triangulations he plotted his work, only to find that he had shoved the terminal of the street out into the water, near Sauculito. Thereupon he tried another method. He invented a "go-it-ometer" which he placed on a soldier's back so that the apparatus would register each step taken by the man. But the man, though he made a satisfactory start, passed a beer saloon where a grind organ was played and went in and danced twenty miles in a few hours! Upon this, Derby, who was at his wits end, secured some information from the driver of an omnibus, plotted it out on paper and turned it in.
General Sherman, who at the time was out of the army and head of a bank in San Francisco, told the present writer another Derby story. Derby came into the bank (where he kept government funds), picked up a check and wrote on it "one cigar, George H. Derby"; he handed this to the teller who promptly tore it up and informed the Captain that the bank did not sell cigars. Without a smile Derby re-wrote the check. This time the teller took it to Sherman who wrote the notation "twenty-five cents" on it and told the teller to give Derby a cigar. Sherman knew that the check would have to pass the accounting officers of the Treasury Department and that Derby would have trouble to explain, therefore they would have a joke on him.
The Secretary of War invited all army officers to draw and present to the Department designs for changes in army uniforms such as would seem best to them. Derby, who was a particularly clever freehand sketcher, entered the competition and sent in a number of drawings which are still in the War Department. Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War at the time and, being a West Pointer himself, gave this competition personal attention. Mr. Davis may have had many faults, but he was at all times a gentleman of the old school and the personification of dignity, so that no one dared to attempt any familiarity with him. He seemed particularly pleased with Derby's beautiful drawings and explanations until he came to the uniforms for the cavalry. Derby's sketch showed the cavalryman with a hook attached to the back of his trousers on which it was suggested that saddle-bags be hung when the cavalryman was not astride his horse! This angered Mr. Davis very much. He called in the Chief of Engineers with a view of having Captain Derby court‑martialed for gross disrespect, but the Chief advised him to let it pass lest the joke recoil upon the Secretary himself. Mr. Davis took his advice, but in looking over the several sketches again, he found others as wicked.
In 1861 Derby was stricken down with a sunstroke Then erecting a lighthouse on the west side of Florida; he was taken to New York but soon died. His body was buried in the family lot in Bellefontaine Cemetery at St. Louis, Mo., but about twenty years ago was removed to the Military Academy at West Point and re‑interred, and over it was placed a modest memorial.
Captain Derby descended from Revolutionary stock. Among his ancestors were men of great learning. His grandmother was Mrs. Horatio Townsend; his father was John Barton Derby of Salem; his mother was Mary Townsend of Medfield. He was a descendant of Roger Williams of Rhode Island and also of Governor Thomas Dudley of Massachusetts. Captain Derby married Mary Angeline Coons of St. Louis and had three children, Daisy Peyton Derby (Mrs. Black); Mary Townsend Derby; and George McClellan Derby, the last named of whom is still living and is a retired Colonel in the army. From Bro. Cyrus Field Willard, editor of the "Master Mason," San Diego, Cal., I learned, as I stated above, that Captain Derby affiliated with San Diego Lodge, No. 35, as a Past Master. He had been initiated in Benicia, Cal.
PLAYING FAIR WITH A CANDIDATE
A candidate seeks admittance into a Masonic lodge and is not sought, comes of his own free will and accord, and is not stimulated by any motive of a selfish kind; the whole responsibility for membership is laid upon his shoulders. Nevertheless, and even so, a lodge has obligations to him so that in taking such a step he deserves personal attention from the brethren with whom he wishes to affiliate himself. In preparing himself to become a Mason he should have the assistance of those who are already Masons to the end that at the very beginning of his new relationship he will be made to feel the fine spirit and friendliness of the Craft.
It is a good thing for a committee to visit him personally, also the Worshipful Master if that is possible, for oftentimes a few private words of information will dispel many doubts and misunderstandings. If a questionnaire is to be filled out by him each question should be carefully explained, its purpose being made clear so that he will not place on it his own private interpretation; and the questions should not be in the form of an inquisition but should rather present in query form all the main "points of fellowship," which in our times are more than five. Also, these questions should be in strict harmony with the by‑laws of the lodge, and with the code used by the Grand Lodge having jurisdiction, for a questionnaire should not be so framed as to exclude from membership an applicant on such grounds as under any given code would not exclude him. That would be to set up unwritten laws above the laws of a lodge or a Grand Lodge.
Upon the night of his initiation the main thing is to help him to approach the portals of the Craft in the right frame of mind, not frightened as if he were to be put through a humiliating ordeal, and not in a flippant mood looking toward horse play. To secure this a wise Master will see to it that the preparation room is attractive in appearance, comfortable in its appointments, and that no dull‑witted jokes are there perpetrated at the candidate's expense; also it is a fine thing for the Master, or some other lodge officer, to meet the candidate before he enters the lodge with a formal "address to the candidate," several forms of which are in more or less general use, and which need not be long or heavy but so phrased as to set the key for what is to follow.
Nor should this personal attention to the candidate cease after he has been raised. Why shouldn't a committee visit him once again, this time to explain to him something about the workings of the lodge, how to visit other lodges, how to find a niche for himself in the lodge's activities, and how to learn something about the mighty Fraternity of which he has become a member? If too many candidate's are raised to make such personal attention possible the Master could easily arrange to meet with a class of new members every other month, have a little social hour with them, and then talk to them as a group about such things.
One of the principal causes of the slackness of interest on the part of members new and old is just the lack of contact between the lodge and the individual. One does not need to seek farther, or go into profound discussions of it, to learn the cause of most of the indifference which now plagues lodges so much.
I have two copies of Rebold's General History of Freemasonry, published at Toledo, Ohio, 1883, translated by J. Fletcher Brennan. One of the volumes has for a frontispiece a "View of the Interior of Solomon's Temple"; and the other has a picture of "Ancient Athens" for the same purpose. Both books stop at page 358 and omit all material dealing with British America, references to which are included in the index in both instances. What are these volumes worth ? They are both in the original cloth bindings so that the omission just mentioned was evidently intentional. Will brethren interested please communicate with me ?
N.W.J. Haydon, 564 Pape Avenue, Toronto, Canada.
Illustrious Masons of Ireland
Along With Some Paragraphs Concerning Daniel O'Connell and Elizabeth St. Leger, the Famous "Lady Freemason"
By Bro. J. H. EDGE, Ireland
A brother has written to ask if John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, was a member of the Craft. Instead of the usual reply in the Question Box we are herewith reprinting a portion of the paper contributed to Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. XXVI, page 131, by Bro. J. H. Edge, which contains a reply to the inquiry along with much other interesting matter beside. Readers interested in Irish Masonry, about which something is said in the Study Club Department this month, should take care to read the entire article, which is entitled "A Short Sketch of the Rise and Progress of Irish Freemasonry."
WE can point with pardonable pride to the long roll of illustrious Irishmen who have joined Freemasonry - men who differed widely in their religious and political views, but who were enabled at the same time to unite in the common brotherhood of the Masonic Order. Dean Swift was a member of the same lodge in London which enrolled on its books his life - long friends, John Arbuthnot and Alexander Pope. For some years we claimed the great John Wesley, though an Englishman, as an Irish brother, owing to the fact that a Rev. John Wesley was a member of a lodge in Downpatrick, and a contemporary of his famous namesake. It has now been ascertained that this member of an Irish lodge was not the earnest evangelist who founded the world‑wide brotherhood of Methodists. By way of a slight compensation we are proud to claim as a brother, though he was an Englishman and a member of an English lodge, Samuel Wesley, nephew of John Wesley, the evangelist, and son of the Rev. Charles Wesley, the melodious hymnwriter. Samuel Wesley evidently inherited the remarkable musical genius of his family. In 1813 he composed and conducted a Grand Anthem for Freemasons. A few years later, he composed a Grand Mass for the Chapel of Pope Pius VI., and received in appreciation of it an official Latin letter of thanks from the Sovereign Pontiff, and then, as a sort of counter‑balance, he composed for the Church of England a complete set of Matins and Evensong, which at once took rank among our favorite Cathedral Services.
Arthur, the first Duke of Wellington, was christened Arthur Wesley, and he did not use the surname of Wellesley until he was twenty‑nine years of age. He was a near relative of the founder of the Methodists; both were born leaders of men, and in determination of character, straightforward conduct, and wonderful powers of organization, there were many points of resemblance between the two cousins. The Iron Duke was born in Ireland; and Dangan Castle, Trim, and Mornington House (now the office of the Irish Land Commission), Dublin, both claim to have been the places of his birth. He was certainly initiated as a Freemason in a lodge held in Trim, and signed the Roll of the lodge in 1790 as 'A. Wesley.' He did not, however, take any active part in the working of our Order during his arduous and eventful career.
That great Tribune of the People, Daniel O'Connell, became a Freemason in 1799, and continued an active and prominent brother for several years. Not satisfied with being a member of the lodge in Dublin in which he was initiated, and of which he became Master, he was one of the founders of a lodge in Tralee, and was affiliated to the well‑known Lodge No. 13, Limerick. O'Connell was a loyal son of the Roman Catholic Church. He was also a liberal-minded, largehearted man, and often helped his Protestant fellow countrymen. Many striking incidents have been related of this celebrated Irishman, but I do not think it is generally known that one of the very first uses to which he put his membership of the Imperial Parliament, after he gained for himself and his co‑religionists Catholic Emancipation, was to demand justice for an Irish Protestant named George Dallas Mills, who had been a clerk in the Dublin post office. Mills discovered frauds and abuses in the management of his department, and reported them to headquarters. The Government, on investigation, found Mills was right, reformed the post office, and, of course, dismissed the delinquents, but took the extraordinary course of dismissing Mills also. O'Connell's chivalrous intervention was successful. He obtained a life pension for the man who had been so infamously treated.
The Roman Catholic Church showed at an early date its hostility to the Masonic revival in the eighteenth century by issuing numerous Bulls, Letters, and Decrees against it, beginning with the Bull, In Eminenti, of Pope Clement XII., dated the 28th April, 1738. Notwithstanding such denunciations, the majority of the Irish brethren were at the commencement of the last century of the Roman Catholic persuasion. This did not arise from any wilful disobedience to the directions of their church, but rather either from ignorance of their church's wishes or from the Bulls which had then been issued not having been ecclesiastically promulgated in Ireland, or perhaps even from other causes, such as doubts as to whether the church's mandates on the subject were temporary or perpetual. The Roman Catholic Church's opposition has continued to the present day, as is evidenced by the various declarations, including a peremptory Encyclical Letter of Pope Leo XIII., of April 20, 1884.
O'Connell, in a letter which appeared in The Pilot newspaper of the 24th April, 1837, stated his reasons for having left our Order. It is only fair to his memory, and also to ourselves, to give his letter in its completeness. It was read at the time in Grand Lodge, and is as follows:
O'CONNELL RENOUNCES FREEMASONRY
To the Editor of The Pilot,
London, April 19 (1837).
A paragraph has been going the rounds of the Irish newspapers purporting to have my sanction, and stating that I had been at one time Master of a Masonic Lodge in Dublin, and still continue to belong to that Society.
I have since received letters addressed to me as a Freemason and feel it incumbent on me to state the real facts.
It is true that I was a Freemason and a Master of a lodge It was at a very early period of my life, and either before an ecclesiastical censure had been published in the Catholic Church in Ireland prohibiting the taking of the Masonic oaths, or at least before I was aware of that censure. I now wish to state that having been acquainted with it, I submitted to its influence, and many, very many years ago, unequivocally renounced Freemasonry. I offered the late Archbishop, Dr. Troy, to make that renunciation public, but he deemed it unnecessary. I am not sorry to have this opportunity of doing so.
Freemasonry in Ireland may be said to have (apart from its oaths) no evil tendency, save as far as it may counteract in some degree the exertions of those most laudible and useful institutions - institutions deserving of every encouragement - the temperance Societies.
But the great, the important objection is this - the profane taking in vain the awful name of the Deity - in the wanton and multiplied taking of oaths - of oaths administered on the Book of God either in mockery or derision, or with a solemnity which renders the taking of them, without any adequate motive, only the more criminal. This objection, which, perhaps I do not state strongly enough, is alone abundantly sufficient to prevent any serious Christian from belonging to that body.
My name having been dragged before the public on this subject, it is, I think, my duty to prevent any person supposing that he was following my example in taking oaths which I now certainly would not take, and consequently become a Freemason which I certainly would not now do.
I have the honour to be,
Your faithful servant,
We must all respect our fellow‑countryman for obeying the dictates of his conscience. We not only would not wish, but would prohibit, any man from joining our Order if we knew that he considered it wrong to do so; and we would not attempt to retain a brother among us if, like Daniel O'Connell, he believed that to remain a Freemason would be a sin, or lead to a waste of time or money. The very circumstance that, since their church's directions have been made quite clear on the point, so few Roman Catholics have belonged to our Craft in Ireland, shows conclusively that Irish Freemasonry does not sap or meddle with the religious faith of its members.
I shall just add a few words on O'Connell's references to temperance and oaths. Shortly before the date of his letter, a Temperance Association had been started in Munster by the Rev. Nicholas Dunscombe, an Episcopalian clergyman; Richard Dowden, a Nonconformist layman; and William Martin, a member of the Society of Friends; and almost while O'Connell's letter was being written these three men were joined by the Rev. Theobald Mathew, a Capuchin monk, who, by his burning enthusiasm and earnest advocacy, quickly became the leader of the crusade. O'Connell very properly favored this movement. It had a great deal to do with restricting excessive drinking at all entertainments, including Masonic banquets. Now-a-days there is no excessive drinking at our Masonic entertainments; and we as brethren welcome the increasing number of total abstinence lodges among us.
As to the superfluity of oaths, involving and indiscriminate and indefensible misuse of the Divine Name, the only excuse - and it is a very lame one for such a system is, that it was only too common in Courts of Justice and in all societies one hundred years ago. The practice of taking oaths has been virtually abolished in Irish Freemasonry. It was never an essential part of our ritual; and affirmations, instead of them, when the majority of the brethren present so wished it, were quite possibly often allowed in olden times. We still require signs and passwords, for the reasons I have already stated [in portion of the essay not here published]; but a pledge or promise not to reveal them, unless in accordance with our rules, can now be given in whatever manner is binding on the conscience of the candidate.
A LADY WAS MADE A MASON
To turn to a less grave subject. You have all, doubtless, heard it alleged that there was one lady who became a member of the Craft. I think most of us regarded the tradition as merely a myth, just an idle story invented by some outsider with the object of ridiculing us. Late investigations have tended to prove its authenticity. The lady was the Honourable Elizabeth St. Leger, daughter of Lord Doneraile. The ceremony of her initiation is said to have taken place in a lodge held in Doneraile Court about the year 1712, when she probably was not more than eighteen or nineteen years of age, as she was born in 1693. She had overheard Masonic matters and it was thought advisable to admit her into our Craft under the obligation of secrecy. Her future husband, Richard Aldworth, to whom she was married in 1713, was present at her admission. She continued during the rest of her life to take a keen interest in Freemasonry. We have no positive proof that any other woman was ever admitted in Ireland.
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
'Tis of the wave and not the rock;
'Tis but the Capping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee - are all with thee!
The Soul Stealer *
By Bro. W.J. BARCLAY, Canada
Bro. Barclay will be remembered for his "A Woman of Naphtali," in THE BUILDER February last. The present tale, founded on an actual incident, was sent to The Square, Vancouver, B. C., for Canadian publication, and to these pages for publication in the United States.
CAPTAIN NORWOOD leaned on the bride rail of the whaler Aurora as the good ship plowed her way through the Polar Sea. He was in high spirits, for another two hundred barrels of oil would complete his cargo. It was the second summer of his present voyage. After wintering at Herschel Island, he had taken his ship to Siberian waters, and though his luck had been good, it had not equalled that of the other ships of the fleet. Now he was on his way to meet the whales coming down the west coast of Banks Land, with the confident expectation of filling up and getting out of the Arctic before the freeze-up.
Chasing the big bow-heads in these northern waters is a good deal of a gamble. There is a regular sequence of feeding grounds known to whalers where their prey is to be followed and - sometimes - found. In May and June it is off the Kamschatkan coast, then it is through the Behring Straits to Northern Siberia; after that it is down the west coast of Banks Land, and finally it is westwardly along the Canadian mainland. By this time it would be September, and the course of the whales would be into the far, unknown regions of the Beaufort Sea. That would end the season, for no whaler, however keen, would dare to follow them up there in the shortening days and gathering storms of winter's approach.
From his position on the bridge, Captain Norwood looked out over the sea. The evening sun was dipping towards the horizon in the north. Sea and sky were full of color - purple and blue in blending shades, with a background of blazing orange and gold where the orb of day (or, rather, of night, in that region) shone through a hazy atmosphere. The lavish hand of the Great Architect withheld nothing from His bountiful display of beauty because so few of His creatures were there to see and appreciate.
In the waist of the Aurora half a dozen Eskimos, hired at Herschel Island to help in the tensing and boiling down, were seated on the deck listening to old Qivitok tell stories of the supernatural, so eagerly relished by these primitive folk - how the magician Kumagdlak destroyed a band of attacking enemies by shooting them with arrows that had bone points made from the small of men's legs, and how he made the arrows of his enemies swerve in their flight by waving the thong of the bag his mother had carried him in on her back when he was a baby.
The keen eyes of Captain Norwood picked up a distant object some points off the starboard bow. He
* This story is founded on an incident related by Captain Norwood, of the Arctic whaling fleet, to Bro. T.R. Moulton, of the Customs Service, Vancouver, while Bro. Moulton was in the government employ in Northern Canada.
turned his glasses on the object, and found, as he had expected, that it was an Eskimo in his kayak.
"That fellow's a long way off shore," he remarked to the mate, who had just come upon the bridge.
"And he's headed out - not in," added the mate. "Those critters are sure a fearless, venturesome breed in their own environment."
But Eskimos out fishing were no novel sight to him, and the mate presently descended to the main deck to direct some work. Captain Norwood continued to regard the kayak with languid interest.
A FAMOUS SIGN IS GIVEN
Suddenly his interest quickened, and he straightened up from his leaning posture, and again put the glasses to his eyes. The occupant of the kayak, who had laid his double-ended paddle across the little craft, was, with freed arms, making a sign - a sign startlingly out of place in that lonely Arctic sea.
Captain Norwood was puzzled and perplexed. But perhaps it was accidental? It must be accidental, he argued to himself. An Eskimo! How could an Eskimo make such a sign?
In his uncertainty he continued to watch through his glasses. Then, for the second time, the sign was given. It was no accident! The kayak was now close a-bearn and plainly visible, pointed to cross the Aurora's course. Undoubtedly, the Eskimo had made the sign meaningly. He had made it towards the ship distinctly. However absurd the situation might appear, from whatever source the man in the kayak had learned the sign, there was no mistaking his action,
What was to be done about it? Captain Norwood remembered the night, long ago in far off British Columbia, when he had been taught in a Masonic lodge never to disregard that sign, for it would surely be-token a fellow creature in distress. He pushed a lever, a bell rang in the engine room, the throbbing machinery ceased to beat.
All on board turned in surprise to look at the bridge. Then sailors and Eskimos crowded to the ship's side to watch the near approaching kayak.
"Get that man on board, Mister!" ordered the captain, as the kayak drew alongside.
"Aye, aye, sir!" responded the mate, giving the necessary instructions to the crew.
Then began a shouting and clamour of tongues among the ship's Eskimos, who evidently recognized the newcomer:
"It is Sorqak, the soul stealer!"
"Send him away!"
"White men, do not let him come on board!"
They crowded about the mate, but he shoved them aside, and in their own tongue ordered them away, emphasizing his words by swinging a rope's end in the air.
A kayak is the crankiest craft that floats on water, and there was some difficulty in fulfilling the captain's orders. However, the Eskimo unlaced the thongs that bound the skin cover around his body, and with the help of one of the crew who went over the side on a rope ladder, he was assisted up to the deck. The kayak only weighed a few pounds, and it, too, was hauled on board.
The newcomer was an elderly man with long hair heavily streaked with grey. He was apparently strong and in good health, but his face was haggard and deeply lined. He smiled a wan smile as he stepped aboard amidst his excited and unfriendly fellow-countrymen.
Captain Norwood regarded his strange visitor for a few seconds with curious interest. Then, remembering that his ship was stopped, he signalled to the engine room, and once more the Aurora proceeded on her way.
Coming from the bridge, Captain Norwood called to the Eskimo, who stood uncertainly beside the mate, "Apuren!" (come). Then he led him to his cabin, and the mate took charge again on the bridge, wondering at the sudden interest his captain was evincing in a stray Eskimo picked up at sea for no earthly reason that he could fathom.
Captain Norwood had spent twenty-five seasons in the Arctic. He had acquired a fair working knowledge of the Eskimo tongue during the long idle winter night and short hard working summer day, for every whale ship has a number of these northern people engaged as hunters in winter and helpers in summer. He knew some of the curious beliefs of these people. He knew that an Eskimo believes every person to consist of three things - a soul, a body and a name; that the soul lives outside the person, but follows it as a shadow follows a man in the sunshine; that, nevertheless, the two are inseparable as long as the person lives; that only great magicians can see the soul, which is smaller but looks exactly like the person, and that if it gets lost, or if some magician steals it, the person will pine away and die.
On reaching the cabin, Captain Norwood closed the door and seated himself. The Eskimo, unused to such surroundings, diffidently remained standing.
"They called you Sorqak, the soul stealer?" questioned the captain.
"My name is Sorqak; but they speak lies - I do not steal souls."
"Where do you come from, anyway?"
"You saw my sign, White Man, and I will tell you. I am of the Kogmolik people, as are Qivotok and the others?'
"You are a long way from your home?"
THE "SOUL STEALER" TELLS HIS STORY
"I am," answered the Eskimo. "They drove me out of the tribe because they said I took away the soul of Avunang, who walked over a cliff and fell into the sea. Avunang was sick, and because I am an Angekoq (a subduer of spirits - a magician) and had cured many people when they were sick, the wife and brothers of Avunang came to me. They brought presents and I promised to ask the help of my spirit. My spirit must have been a long way off, for I fasted and beat upon the drum and called his name until I was weary, weary. Then my eyes closed and my hands hung down. I found myself in a deep ravine down which poured a great waterfall. I knew I was on the way to the underworld. I followed the ravine a long, long way. Down under the earth it widened out suddenly and I found myself in a country with a thick dark blue sky over me. It was not light there as it is up here. The sun was smaller and paler than the sun on earth. It was winter there, but there was no snow; it never snowed. Ice lay over the sea. I saw three men pushing their sledge over the smooth ice; they had no dogs. One of the men was my father; the other two I did not know. They told me it was pleasant down there. There were plenty of seals walruses and narwhals. They invited me to go to a river where there were many salmon. When we had walked a long distance my father pointed to a ravine down which I had come and said, 'Turn back unless you wish to remain here.' Just then I saw the soul of Avunang walking on the ice. I grasped it and ran towards the ravine; but the two men ran after me and tore away the soul of Avunang. When I returned to earth the relatives of Avunang cursed me. The sick man had risen from his bed shouting 'Sorqak! Sorqak!' and had run to the cliff and fallen over. They said I had stolen his soul to make greater magic. They were afraid and drove me from the village with stones and spears."
The Eskimo paused, and there was silence in the cabin for a time. Captain Norwood's pipe had gone out. He lit it again before speaking. Then he asked:
"And what do you want to do now, Sorqak?"
"White Man," answered the Eskimo, "I have wandered to the eastward ever since the Great Warmer (the sun) has come back to the sky. I am weary of seeing no faces of men or of women and children. When your great ship comes to another people set me ashore among them. I do not want to go back."
"But the sign, Sorqak, where did you learn that sign?"
"When I was a young man, before my father died, he taught me many things. He taught me the sign, and he said that his father before had taught him that when in great difficulty or danger the sign should be made."
There was silence in the cabin again for a while as Captain Norwood puffed thoughtfully at his pipe. Then he turned to the Eskimo:
"When we come to the shore of Omeurak (Banks Land) and find the people who live there, I will give you food and a new seal spear and I will set you among them."
The face of the Eskimo lightened up. He smiled and said:
"You are good to me, my brother."
Chapters of Masonic History
By Bro. H.L. HAYWOOD, Editor PART XII VARIOUS GRAND LODGES; YORK, IRELAND, SCOTLAND ETC.
IN Part X of the present series of brief studies I gave a sketch of the organization of "the Mother Grand Lodge of the world," formed in London, 1717; and in this department last month gave a similar account of the founding of the Ancient Grand Lodge. This account could not be complete without some word concerning the formation of other Grand Lodges, especially since two of them functioned in England itself. I shall begin with the Grand Lodge at York, known as
I. THE GRAND LODGE OF ALL ENGLAND
Many of the earliest legends and traditions of the Craft cluster about the time-hallowed city of York so that to this day it is a revered name amongst us, and familiar also, especially in the United States where we hear mention every day of the (mis-named) York Rite. According to an old legend, Edwin called a General Assembly of Masons at York in 926, but this is generally doubted, and that because there are no records to prove it. But we do know that for at least two centuries Operative Masonry was better organized in York than in most countries, and we have still in existence the old Fabric Rolls in which was kept a record of the building of York Minster, to show us what manner of men the old Masons were and how they conducted their affairs; these "Rolls", or records, cover the years 1350 - 1639.
It is probable that a lodge organized by those Operative Masons continued on long after their work was finished. According to Hughan the records show that at least as early as 1643 a lodge was in existence there. This lodge, like so many others, succumbed in the course of time to pressure, and began to admit "gentlemen Masons", i.e., men who had no intention of practicing Operative Masonry, and this "Speculative" element came in time to dominate, so that shortly after the beginning of the eighteenth century it assumed entire control. According to an inventory made in 1779 the lodge possessed at that time a MS. book containing records beginning with March 7, 1705 - 6, but this precious volume was somehow lost, and seems now beyond recovery. The existing lodge minutes go back to 1712, which was five years prior to the founding of the first Grand Lodge. At that time it would seem that there was in York one "Mother Lodge", described in latter years, but inaccurately, as having been a Grand Lodge, and that this lodge chartered others; but even so it evidently possessed little strength because the "Mother Lodge" held no meetings at all, at least so far as the records show, during the years 1717 - 1721. An awakening came after a Grand Lodge (properly so called) had been established in London, and after a Book of Constitutions had been published. York Masonic assemblies had been presided over by a President, but in 1725 the style was changed to "Grand Master", and Charles Bathurst was elected to that office; what had been a "private" lodge transformed itself into a "Grand Lodge", and adopted the name "Grand Lodge of All England."
If there was no open friction between this Grand Body and the Grand Lodge already formed there was apparently little or no active cooperation, and in the Grand Lodge of All England itself there was not much strength; after it chartered a few lodges (none of them outside of England) it ceased gradually to function somewhere between the years 1740-1750. Then, after having remained dormant, it was awakened in 1761 to new activity, after such manner as the following minute explains:
"The Ancient and Independent Constitution of Free and Accepted Masons, belonging to the City of York, was, this Seventeenth day of March, in the year of our Lord 1761, Revived by Six of the Surviving Members of the Fraternity by the Grand Lodge being opened, and held at the House of Mr. Henry Howard, in Lendall, in the said City, by them and others hereinafter named."
This revival of the defunct Grand Lodge made possible one interesting episode in the history of Grand Lodges, as will later appear, but it proved in the long run abortive, and in the course of time the Grand Lodge of All England passed gradually out of existence through a process of absorption, perhaps, by the ever growing Grand Lodges that had been established in 1717 and in 1751.
The members of the Ancient Grand Lodge, organized on the latter date, of which an account was given last month, desired above all things to claim for themselves as great an antiquity as possible; it was for this reason, no doubt, that they fell into the habit of describing themselves as "Ancient York Masons"; this was only a dodge, without legitimate right or excuse, and it has caused a certain amount of confusion since. I have only now, on the day I write, been reading the Proceedings of one Grand Lodge in the United States in which this Grand Lodge claims descent from York because it was chartered by the "Ancients" and these "Ancients", so it is alleged in the volume, were York Masons; they had called themselves so. As a matter of fact the York Grand Lodge chartered no lodges in America, and the use of the name "York" is in all such cases illegitimate, though it may be accepted by way of paying tribute to an ancient Masonic center, and to one of the best loved cities in the world. On this matter I shall conclude with a quotation from W.J. Hughan, taken from Clegg's Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, page 1130:
"All the 'York' Lodges succumbed on the decease of their 'Mother Grand Lodge,' and there has not been a representative of the Antient York Grand Lodge anywhere whatever, throughout this (19th) century. It never at any time chartered Lodges to meet out of England, and was always opposed to the 'Athol Masons' [or 'Ancients'] of London, though the latter sometimes did, unfairly, style themselves 'Antient York Masons,' a title affected since by several Masonic bodies, with as little authority."
II. AN INFANT AMONG GRAND LODGES
William Preston, a Scotch printer who came to London in 1760, was made a member in 1774 of the Lodge of Antiquity, a "time immemorial body" that held rank (and does still) under the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of 1717 as the oldest lodge on the list. Because of his zeal, learning and ability, and because of his inauguration of the Preston lectures, as well as his writing the famous Illustrations of Masonry (first published in 1772) Preston ranks with Desaguliers, Anderson, Dermott and one or two others as among the most brilliant names in the history of English Freemasonry. (See note.)
Prior to Preston's admittance to the Lodge of Antiquity that famous old lodge had been on the down grade but through his energy, and because he brought a new infusion of blood into it by means of the initiation of a number of young men, his own leadership soon brought it to a high degree of efficiency once again.
This work attracted the attention of Grand Lodge so that he was made assistant Grand Secretary, James Heseltine being Grand Secretary. Heseltine believed that a new edition of the Constitutions of Grand Lodge should be published so he engaged Preston to take up the task. After he had done so, and the book was about ready for publication, Heseltine suddenly insisted that Noorthouck, Treasurer of the Lodge of Antiquity, should be given an equal share in the enterprise. Preston resented this and as a result fell into a quarrel with both brethren, especially with Heseltine, who was not noted for an irenic disposition.
While these feelings were still hot Preston was inadvertently and innocently led into a violation of Grand Lodge rules, a thing that happened after this wise. On Dec. 27, 1777, Preston led his lodge to divine service at St. Dunstan's Church, Fleet street; the service ended he and his brethren, attired in their aprons and gloves, walked a few yards across to the Mitre Tavern. Now it happens that in 1747 Grand Lodge has passed a resolution prohibiting all public processions except with the express consent of the Grand Master, therefore the Lodge of Antiquity had become guilty of a technical violation of the rules.
Heseltine immediately pounced upon this as a means of getting a thrust at Preston. In making a reply Preston stepped into a trap by taking the position that since Antiquity Lodge possessed a "time immemorial" charter and had not been brought into existence by Grand Lodge, it had a right to regulate its own domestic affairs. This furnished Heseltine and his friends with a new weapon that they were not slow to use; Preston was expelled by Grand Lodge.
Upon this the Lodge of Antiquity split in two. That portion headed by Preston and his friends immediately applied for a deputation from the Grand Lodge of All England (at York: see above) and thereupon set themselves up as a new Grand Lodge, using the style, Grand Lodge of All England South of the River Trent; it was constituted Nov. 15, 1779.
The history of this baby Grand Body is as short as the simple annals of the poor. Preston says that it warranted several lodges but thus far only two such warrantings have been verified. The move was evidently out of joint with the times. After a few years, during which Preston largely lost interest in Masonry, he succeeded in getting a memorial considered by Grand Lodge and, after he had made his repentance, was in May 1789 restored to full standing in Grand Lodge. Upon this the Grand Lodge of All England South of the River Trent passed out of existence. It left no mark behind it on the developments of the Craft and was never at any time anything more than a private schism.
III. THE GRAND LODGE OF IRELAND
Next in seniority to the Grand Lodge of 1717, and sharing with it and with Scotland the lion's share of establishing world-wide Freemasonry, is the Grand Lodge of Ireland. There was a time when little was known about Irish Freemasonry, especially of the eighteenth century, but such ceased to be the case upon the publication of Dr. W.J. Chetwode Crawley's Caementaria Hibernica ("The Freemasonry of Ireland"), a magnificent work which ranks with Gould's larger history as to its scholarship but far surpasses that massive production in the grace and appeal of literary art - a thing in which Dr. Crawley easily stands supreme among the greater historians of the Craft.
Dr. Crawley, to whom the present paragraphs are almost entirely-indebted, shows that Freemasonry was well known in Ireland at least as early as 1688, and that at a very early date (comparatively speaking) the type of ritual later adopted by the Grand Lodge of 1717 was practiced by Irish Masons. One of the proofs of this is found in the records of the initiation of Miss St. Leger, the most famous of all "lady Freemasons." Her case shows, first, that a Speculative Lodge was working at Doneraile in 1710; second, that two degrees were then practiced; and third, that the initiatory ceremonies were strikingly similar to those employed after the "Revival" in 1717.
Early in that century two Grand Lodges flourished side by side in Ireland, one of them, with its headquarters at Cork, being the Grand Lodge of Munster; little is known about the beginnings of either one of them, but a record shows that the Monster body was in action at least as early as 1726, and that it had at that time at least one subordinate body, of which minutes are extant of date Feb. 2, 1726. One very interesting feature of these minutes is that they mention the appointment of deacons, the first such mention in the history of the Craft. Scotland had employed deacons in the century preceding but of a different kind. On this subject Dr. Crawley wrote a paragraph important to be read:
"We must carefully distinguish between the Deacon of the early Scottish Minute Books and the Deacon of the Irish Ritual. The former occupied almost, if not altogether, the highest post among his Brethren, having precedence over the Warden, and presiding over the meeting when occasion required. The latter held the lowest official position in the lodge, and was mainly concerned with ritual. The former correspond to the Dean (i.e., Deacon) of Faculty, the latter to the lowest order of the ministry, the Deacon of ecclesiastical parlance. The similarity does not go beyond the name."
In 1733 the Grand Lodge of Munster ceased to exist by absorption or fusion, probably, with the Grand Lodge of Ireland, having headquarters at Dublin. So little is known about the founding of this Grand Body that we must rest content with knowing that by 1725 it was in full swing because in that year it had as Grand Master, Richard, 1st Earl of Rosse. It appears that the Munster lodges came under its authority in 1731 or thereabouts and as a result of the influence of the Grand Lodge of Ireland's third Grand Master, James, 4th Baron Kingston.
In 1805 one Alexander Seton led a revolt, growing out of a quarrel that had to do with the Higher Degrees, and with some friends and abbettors set up a schismatic Grand Lodge of Ulster. This distracted the activities of Ireland for nine years only.
The close relations between English and Irish Freemasonry at that early date is shown by the first Book of Constitutions published in Ireland; this was compiled by John Pennel, Grand Secretary at Dublin, and was an almost exact counterpart of the Anderson Constitutions of 1723. In 1751 a Book of Constitutions, properly revised for Irish uses, was prepared by Edward Spratt, Grand Secretary; this version, as noted in the preceding chapter of the present series, served as a model for Laurence Dermott's Ahiman Rezon.
In addition to being the first section of the general Craft to employ deacons the Grand Lodge of Ireland is also notable in that it was the first to grant a lodge warrant, as we now understand the term, when such an instrument was granted to the First Lodge of Ireland in 1731; and also in that it was the first to grant ambulatory warrants, i.e., warrants for military and naval lodges, a fact that afterwards played an incalculable part in the developments of Freemasonry at large.
IT THE GRAND LODGE OF SCOTLAND
The history of Freemasonry in Scotland is a subject of peculiar value to the Masonic student because it makes more clear than that of any other country just how Operative Masonry gradually evolved into what we have come to call Speculative Freemasonry, because in Scotland, more than in Ireland or England, the records are less broken. By dint of piecing one scrap of information with another one can gain a pretty complete picture of the whole process.
What York is in the traditions of the English Craft Kilwinning is to Scotland. According to one old book "a number of Freemasons came from the Continent to build a monastery at Kilwinning and with them an architect or Master Mason to superintend and carry on the work. This architect resided at Kilwinning, and being a gude and true Mason, intimately acquainted with all the arts and parts of Masonry, known on the continent, was chosen Master of the meetings of the brethren all over Scotland. He gave rules for the conduct of the brethren at these meetings, and decided finally in appeals from all the other meetings or lodges in Scotland." (Quoted from Clegg's Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, page 663.) Kilwinning Abbey was in the County of Ayr, on the southwest coast of Scotland, about twenty-five miles from Glasgow, and was founded in 1140 by Hugh de Morville.
This is the basis of the "Kilwinning tradition" and as such was accepted by the author of Laurie's History of Freemasonry; but D. Murray Lyon, the chief authority of Scottish Masonic history (see his History of the Lodge of Edinburgh), attacked it, and with so much success that it has been pretty well abandoned, at least by general historians.
The oldest admittedly authentic Constitutions used by the Scotch draft are "The Statutes and Ordinances to be observed by all the Master Masons within the realm; set down by William Schaw, Master of Work to his Majesty and General Warden of the said Craft with the consent of the Masters hereafter specified:'
These Ordinances are found in the minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh, also called St. Mary's Chapel, which fill six volumes, extend from Dec. 28, 1598, to Nov. 29, 1869, and contain other material of incalculable value. Along with the Schaw Statutes must be placed, as of almost equal importance, the St. Clair Charters. The former of these two precious documents was evidently written in 1600 or 1601, and was signed by William Schaw. This document sets it forth that whereas the Lords of Roslin had from "age to age" been considered the official patrons and governors of the Craft in Scotland, and whereas they had become negligent the Craft had, by universal consent of all Masons, agreed that henceforth William Sinclair should become "their patron and judge under the King." The second St. Clair charter is largely confirmatory of the first, and was written, so it is believed, about 1628.
A fourth important document in Scottish history is the "Edinburgh Kilwinning MS." This was used by the Kilwinning Lodge in the seventeenth century and also by lodges founded by Kilwinning, which was a "Mother Lodge," chartering subordinate bodies in something like the fashion later employed by Grand Lodges. The important point about this Manuscript is that it is a close copy of an English Manuscript Constitution, thereby implying that even at that early date the influence of English Freemasonry was being felt in the northern Kingdom.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries many non-Operatives, often lords of high position, were admitted members in Scotch lodges; these non-Operatives exercised a deep influence on the Craft, as had been the case in England; and also, as in England, this non-Operative element came in time to dominate, so that by the beginning of the eighteenth century a definite movement set in toward a complete transformation of the institution. This tendency was doubtless greatly stimulated in 1721 when Dr. John Theophilus Desaguliers, who had played so important a part in the founding of the first Grand Lodge at London in 1717, visited the lodge at Edinburgh. Two meetings were held during his visit at which non-Operatives of high station were entered and passed. The minutes of these meetings, according to Lyon,
"render it probable that taking advantage of his social position, he had influenced the attendance of the Provost and Magistrates of Edinburgh and the other city magnates who accompanied them as applicants for Masonic fellowship in order to give a practical illustration of the system with which his name was so closely associated with a view to its commending itself for adoption by the Grand Lodges of Scotland."
On Sept. 29, 1735, Canongate Kilwinning Lodge appointed a committee for "framing a proposal to be laid before the several lodges in order to the choosing of a Grand Master for Scotland." To further this project in August of the following year John Douglas of the Lodge of Kirkcaldy was made a member of Canongate Kilwinning and then appointed Secretary in order to make out "a scheme for bringing about a Grand Master for Scotland." Meanwhile it had been arranged that the four lodges of Edinburgh should hold counsel looking toward the same end, and as a result four lodges, Mary's Chapel, Canongate Kilwinning, Kilwinning Scots Arms, and Leith Kilwinning, assembled at Edinburgh, Oct. 15, 1736. Other meetings were held, and the project was brought before all the lodges in Scotland. Out of about one hundred lodges thirty-three assembled in Edinburgh Nov. 30, 1736, and there formed themselves into a Grand Lodge.
According to the traditions embodied in the St. Clair MSS. the real chief authority of the Craft was embodied in that family; but at the assembly just referred to, William St. Clair presented a formal document in which he relinquished all claims to any such jurisdiction. He was immediately elected Grand Master.
Thereafter nearly all the lodges in Scotland applied for warrants from the new authority, although for several years thereafter many of them retained their Operative character.
From this very brief account - altogether too brief to present an adequate picture of the founding of the Grand Lodge of Scotland - it will be seen that in Scotland the transition from Operative to Speculative Freemasonry was made gradually. And while English Speculative Freemasonry undoubtedly exercised considerable influence in that process there was never at any time any appeal to the Grand Lodge of England for official warrants. Bro. Clegg, in his Revised Mackey's History of Freemasonry, has given a succinct statement of this important fact in a paragraph excellent to be quoted:
"The Freemasonry of Scotland produced from its own Operative Lodges its Speculative Grand Lodge, precisely us was the case with the Freemasonry of England. In this respect it has differed from the Freemasonry of every other country where the Operative element never merged into the Speculative. The latter was always a direct and independent importation from the Speculative Grand Lodge of England, wholly distinct from the Operative Freemasonry existing at the same time."
Note. See Study Club article for April, 1924; also article on Preston in same issue.
(Mackey's Encyclopedia (Revised Edition)
Ahiman Rezon, 37; Aitchison's-Haven Lodge, 42; Aitchison's-Haven Manuscript, 42; Bruce, Robert, 121; Burns, Robert, 124; Chapel, Mary's, 142; Deacon, 197; Desaguliers, 207; Drake, Francis, 220; Ecossais, 228; Grand Lodge, 306; Harodim, Grand Chapter of, 319; Ireland, 357; Kilwinning, 381; Kilwinning Manuscript, 382; Lawrie, Alexander, 427; Manuscripts, Old, 464; Preston, William, 579; Ramsay, Andrew Michael, 607; Schaw Manuscript, 666; Schaw, William, 667; Scotland, 671; St. Clair Charters, 715; St. Clair, William, 716; York Constitutions, 866; York Grand Lodge, 867; York Legend, 867.
A.Q.C. (on Ireland), VIII, 53, 79, 110, 172; IX, 4, 18, 153; X, 58, 111; XI, 190; XII, 164, 167; XIII, 130, 142; XV, 100; XVI, 69, 174; XVII, 93, 137, 230; XXI, 58, 181; XXIV, 68; XXVI, 131, 196. A.Q.C. (on Scotland), I, 10, 139, 193; II, 164; III, 172; VI, 69, 108; VII, 56, 101, 137; VIII, 4, 45; IX, 171; XI, 195; XIV, 131; XIV, 131, 177; XXIV, 30. Caementaria Hibernica, W.J. Chetwode Crawley. Collected Essays on Freemasonry, R.F. Gould. Concise History of Freemasonry, R.F. Gould. Early History and Records of the Lodge, Aberdeen 1 ter, A.L. Miller. Grand Lodge of England, A.F. Calvert. History of Freemasonry, Findel. History of Freemasonry, R.F. Gould. History of Freemasonry, Laurie. History of Freemasonry in York, Hughan. History of the Mother Lodge, Kilwinning, Robert Wylie. Illustrations of Masonry, William Preston. Irish Master Masons Handbook, Fred J.W. Crowe. Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, Clegg. Unpublished Records of the Craft, Hughan.
A Word to New Members of the National Masonic Research Society; With an Extra Word or Two for Old Members
YOU brethren who have recently come into the family of the National Masonic Research Society from The National Trestle Board, and also those of you - a goodly number - who have joined our circle during the past year or so will find it worth your while to draw up to the table for a few minutes in order to learn what the Society and THE BUILDER "are all about." In case this telling of what it is about fails to touch upon some point about which you feel curiosity write us a letter. We have no secrets.
The National Masonic Research Society, as its name clearly indicates, is a society, not a private commercial enterprise owned by some individual or group of stock holders for profit. It began in 1915 as a voluntary association of individual Masons, drawn from all the Rites, willing to pay their own way, to the end that many active and studious Masons "that must have remained at a perpetual distance" might have a "center of union, and the means of conciliating true friendship" in their activities. In the management of this organization every member is entitled to a voice and a vote.
The Board of Stewards, which functions in somewhat the same capacity as a board of directors, is elected from the membership, five each year. Prior to the annual meeting of the Society held last October every member received a personal letter inviting him to attend; hereafter such notices will be published in THE BUILDER at a date sufficiently in advance.
The President, elected annually by the Board of Stewards, presides at the annual meeting and during the year handles such matters as are appropriate to that office. The Vice‑President presides in event of the President's absence. The Board of Stewards may be called together by the President at any time or place necessity may demand, and according to a bylaw recently adopted, stewards may vote by mail on such questions as are not sufficiently important to warrant calling a meeting. The General Secretary acts as secretary to the President and Board of Stewards and takes care of such correspondence as has to do with matters of general policy. The Executive Secretary has charge of the publication of THE BUILDER, of all business matters, the book department, the membership department, and all activities involving the expenditure of money; he is the Society's business manager. Literary and educational activities and the editing of THE BUILDER are in charge of an editor‑in-chief appointed by the Executive Secretary.
Neither the Executive Secretary nor any other officer receives pay, and such salaries as are received by employees are either nominal or according to the usual standards. Business affairs are managed with the utmost economy in order that every dollar received from dues (your dues) can do its full stint toward carrying on the services being rendered by the Society to the Masonic Fraternity.
Membership is open to every Master Mason in good standing in any country of the world. The present membership list, now larger than it has ever been before, shows names from every country in the habitable globe. Membership is taken out for one year at a time, dues payable in advance.
THE BUILDER is the official journal of the Society, and is not in any sense a commercial magazine. It is sent monthly to each member as one of the prerogatives of his membership, and every member is invited to a voice in its editing and is asked to over constructive criticism, or otherwise help to make it as representative and valuable as possible. It is not an organ of personal opinion or of any one school of Masonic thought as against any other school. Contributions are accepted or rejected solely on the ground of their general merit, and then regardless of the school of Masonic opinion expressed, so that the journal can act as a free and fraternal forum of Masonic thought and activities. The editor‑in‑chief is assisted by a board of associate editors, and by a large number of other individuals, each a specialist in his own field.
The book department is maintained as a convenience to members so that they may be enabled to secure new or second hand Masonic literature at the least possible expense and with the least risk of spending money for useless material. Whatever a Mason may need to know about Masonic books is furnished gratis, and always with cordial promptness.
Masonic periodicals, Grand Lodge Proceedings, pamphlets, etc., are clipped each week and these clippings are loaned on request for study or speech making purposes. At present writing clippings on nearly 20,000 topics are available.
From its inception the Society has been active in the promotion of all forms of Masonic education, especially in the form of study clubs. It co‑operates with any individual, group, or Masonic body in organizing study clubs and then continues to assist them as long as they function. A department of THE BUILDER is devoted to these clubs.
In addition to this the Society has formed several groups of students for special work in Masonic research, the members of which maintain contact through the mails; some of these groups are soon to be ready to publish their findings in book form. Any member desirous of associating with such a group or of organizing one himself may do so by addressing a letter to the editor‑in‑chief.
The Society is giving a great deal of assistance to authors, or prospective authors. Where a man is qualified for such work he is assisted to secure the necessary data and literature; his manuscript is criticized; and he is then assisted to find a publisher and a market. During the week immediately preceding this writing three such manuscripts were sent to headquarters.
In all these activities the Society is assisted in all ways by the Iowa Masonic Library, with its unmatched resources and equipment; of its staff three brethren are members of our official family.
One of the largest of the activities at headquarters is replying to requests for information concerning Freemasonry. If a question is possible of answer the Society, through its worldwide membership, can find the answer. This service is given gratis to all members.
In order to give the reader some conception of the ground covered by these requests for information 100 letters were taken at random from the mail reaching Ye Editor's desk during one week and classified with the following results:
Inquiries about the Blue Lodge, 1; Cryptic Masonry, 1; Scottish Rite, 4; other bodies, 3; foreign Masonry, 2; history, ritual and symbolism, 10; speeches, 7; architecture, 8; books, 20; authorship, 2; jurisprudence, 2; is such and such a man a Mason, 6; social affairs in lodges, 2; request for publication, 1; clippings sent for filing by Society, 3; study clubs, 3; comment on items published in THE BUILDER, contributions offered, 20; Roman Catholicism, 1; literature wanted, 1; unclassified, 13. This total shows that several letters contained more than one request for information.
The purpose of giving all this information to you, Brother New Member, is to tell you that this service is put at your disposal. Avail yourself of it at your need. If you desire to find a place for yourself among those engaged in special research or otherwise to lend a hand to the enterprise of Masonic education let us know. If you find that your Masonic friends are interested in such work nominate them for membership by sending a letter to THE BUILDER.
* * *
MASONRY AS AN ORDER OF MERIT
Here, in democratic America, we can boast of no Order of the Bath or Garter, no ribbon of the Legion of Honor or Iron Cross; but there may well be reason for asking whether decorations of merit created by 100,000 or 500,000 or 1,000,000 members of an organization founded to alleviate suffering, to inculcate good morals, loyalty to country, and to do good unto others - whether such an Order Of merit is not as honorable as one created by prince or potentate who links his name with ribbon, cross, or wreath? The former are the outgivings of armies which meet in private, but whose purposes of benevolence and peace are known of all, mighty influences for the spread of true fraternity. They are often hardly less resplendent than decorations conferred by royalty, but are often more worthily bestowed. - Stevens' Cyclopedia of Fraternities.
* * *
The March BUILDER contained more than its share of errors, most of which were slight enough, but sufficiently irritating for all that. No "alibis" are offered.
At bottom of first page, left side, "transcontinental" should have been "transcendental," which makes quite a difference; and "Admis" ( God save the mark! ) should have been our old friend "Adonis". Beg your pardon, Bro. Meekren!
The Latin quotation on page 100, April issue, should have read Mandatum novum do vobis, a typographical slip. Beg pardon, Ye Editor!
An item concerning John Ross Robertson appeared in Ye Editor's corner for November that was based on a clipping from a Canadian Grand Lodge Proceedings; it appears that the information was erroneous. Bro. William Harvey McNairn, of McMaster University, Toronto, has kindly supplied accurate data, as follows:
"John Ross Robertson was not a knight but had the extraordinary honor of being able to decline a knighthood and a senatorship (which with us goes by appointment) upon the same day. He did not bequeath his library to the Grand Lodge, but to the Toronto Public Library, which however subsequently handed it over to the Grand Lodge. Our friend Bro. N.W.J. Haydon is at present librarian."
* * *
RECORDS COVERING 323 YEARS
The Lodge of Edinburgh, No. 1, has records and membership rolls dating back to 1599, and has been in continuous activity since. The Grand Lodge of Scotland was organized in 1736, nineteen years after that of England, which was organized in 1717 and is the mother Grand Lodge of the world.
An Interpretation of the Blue Lodge Work
“SYMBOLICAL MASONRY” AN INTERPRETATION OF THE THREE DEGREES,” by H. L. Haywood, Editor THE BUILDER; published by George H. Doran Company, New York as Vol. 1, M.S.A. National Masonic Library. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Blue cloth, 360 pages, index, questions for discussion. Price, $2.15 postpaid.
FREEMASONRY is the Science of Morality, veiled in Allegory, and illustrated by Symbols." This famous old definition of Freemasonry, for which we are indebted to Dr. Hemming. I believe, specifies three outstanding features. Masonry is first of all an ethical system, but its teachings are not spread out on the printed page for the wayfaring man, though a fool, to glance at and forget; they are, on the contrary, veiled, hidden from all but those who earnestly seek, by a series of allegories, or stories of traditional history, which of themselves are interesting and beautiful. And permeating the whole, like the grains of pure gold in a quartz vein, are the incomparable symbols by means of which the lofty ethical principles are illustrated and taught. It follows then, that he who would discover the quintessence of Freemasonry must diligently seek the elucidation of its rich symbolism.
Upon this simple foundation has been erected the noble structure of the Craft, a temple rich in many an echoing aisle, and adorned with countless storied memorials of an unforgotten past. Many there are who enter its portals, and though impressed with its beauty, see not beneath it all the firm foundation of moral teaching, overlaid with a rich and beautiful symbolism, which supports the whole structure. Without this, the superstructure would be but a flimsy erection, to be demolished by the first adverse breath, like a castle of cards. But founded on this underpinning, it has grown into a noble fame, which has already braved the storms of uncounted winters, and which promises to continue as long as men live out their little lives of struggle and aspiration.
He then, who directs our attention, and guides our reflection to a study of those symbols which support the whole Masonic structure, is a benefactor of the first rank, even though the exposition be bare and unadorned. But what shall we say when the noble thoughts implied in this rich symbolism are embodied in a diction of limpid clarity and great beauty! This great achievement has been accomplished by Bro. H. L. Haywood in his recent book, Symbolical Masonry. We had read most of it piecemeal as it appeared in THE BUILDER, but the unity of the whole is best appreciated in the book, and indeed, it has to a considerable extent been re‑written and much new material has been added.
That this book is. destined to be a great success seems to be a foregone conclusion. Other books on Masonic symbolism have been written, but none of them in so convenient and attractive a form. The format, the paper, the letter‑press, the binding are all of a dignity so often lacking in Masonic books.
But this book is not merely calculated for quiet reading by the study fire; it is especially well adapted for the use of study classes, and indeed, this is its primary object as the author clearly intimates in the opening pages. The arrangement of the subject matter facilitates this, and an appendix of questions to aid in systematic study, and a full and well‑arranged index, completes the volume.
The work begins with a history of the Craft of remarkable clearness and conciseness. All the important points are adequately touched upon, and yet the whole is compressed within the compass of twenty‑three pages, closing with these noble words:
"Such, in brief, is the story of Freemasonry. What a story it is! It began in a far foretime in a few tiny rivulets of brotherly effort; these united into a current that swept with healing waters across the pagan centuries; many tributaries augmented its stream during the Middle Ages, and in modern times it has become a mighty river which sweeps on irresistibly. And now, if I may venture to change the figure, its halls are homes of light and life; therein men may learn how to live the life that is life indeed. Well may one unclasp his shoes and uncover his head as he enters a Masonic lodge; a symbolism white with an unutterable age is there, and voices eloquent with an old, old music, and a wisdom drawn from the thought and travail of a thousand generations."
The author then carries us through the three steps in Freemasonry, explaining the various symbols as they arise during the neophite's progress from the outer door to the full light of the East. This is not done with the cold accuracy of a scientific treatise, but with the warmth and vision which the vital interest of the subject so abundantly merits. Around the symbols of Freemasonry the author has woven a work of literature, at times, and when the occasion warrants, rising to a stately cadence worthy of his prophet's vision of the dignity and destiny of the Order, as witness the following sentences which close the chapter on "The Lodge":
"The member who finds the eternal verities growing dim from absorption in the heat and burden of his daily task has them made real to him again as he sits in this sanctuary surrounded on all sides by the impressive symbols of God, of Truth and of Immortality. Truly the body of men thus living and working becomes itself an eloquent prophecy of the far‑off coming of the Universal Brotherhood, and stands in the midst of a warring humanity as an earnest of the good time coming when the engines of war and the implements of all contention will be laid aside forever."
To the beginner in Masonry who desires an explanation of the many strange and interesting things he has met in the lodge; to the scholar who requires a convenient epitome of Masonic symbolism for handy reference; to the Master of a lodge who needs a text book for a study class or from which to draw material for addresses, this book will provide all that is necessary.
W. HARVEY McNAIRN.
* * *
NEW EDITION OF GOULD'S CONCISE HISTORY
"A CONCISE HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY," by Robert Freke Gould. Published by Macoy Publishing It Masonic Supply House. Blue cloth, index, addenda, 480 pages. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research Society. $6.30 postpaid.
After Bro. Frederick J. W. Crowe's revision of Gould's The Concise History of Freemasonry was issued in 1920 by Gale & Polden, London, a long and critical review was published in these pages, January 1922, page 23. In that review some complaint was made because of the liberties that had been taken with the book as it had left Gould's hands. Seventy‑five pages or so had been entirely omitted; the reviser had incorporated emendations in the text without showing he had done so; the section devoted to "The Great Schism" had been entirely replaced without leaving Gould's own account standing alongside; and while statistics had been revised no effort had been made to bring some of the important items of subject matter down to date at all. A reply to these strictures, gracious and candid, was published by Bro. Crowe in THE BUILDER of June of the same year, page 183.
The new Macoy edition, of which note is now to be made, removes cause for most of these complaints, because, as stated in the Preface, "except for statistical changes in the latter Chapters, and the insertion, indicated by brackets, of new historical matter (to which, in a few places only, Gould's own text has been almost imperceptibly accommodated without withdrawing an iota of informative statement on his part); i. e., except for bringing the book thoroughly but guardedly up to date, the present issue leaves the original Concise History intact."
About three pages of matter on the Comacine Masters from Bro. Joseph Fort Newton's The Builders has been added to chapter two, and in the form of addenda Bros. Sidney Morse and Jacob Hugo Tatsch have contributed some paragraphs concerning present day Masonic organizations, including the National Masonic Research Society, the Masonic Service Association, Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, etc. Statistics have been revised with the assistance of Bro. Ossian Lang, Grand Lodge Historian, New York.
On one point it may be possible to take issue with the undesignated editor of this new edition; he says that "Gould's policy (indicated in his own Preface) of avoiding footnotes has been adhered to." Footnotes are a nuisance in a book designed to be read seriatim from first to last but Gould's Concise is not that kind of a book; where one man reads it so, a dozen use it for reference only, and then in order to gain information on some one question. Gould wrote his Preface above referred to in 1903, twenty‑one years ago, and quoted or otherwise used many books and authors no longer familiar to the average Masonic reader, consequently it would now be a real help if some information about these sources could be incorporated in footnotes.
Moreover, the great accumulation of new facts made since 1903 has made obsolete some of Gould's opinions and outlawed a few of his arguments; it would be of practical advantage to a reader, especially if he is a beginning student, to be assisted to detect these by an editor, who could add in succinct form the new knowledge or else refer to sources of the same. One of the typical cases of several that come to mind is Gould's treatment of the Roman Collegia. It appears that Gould relied for the most part on Coote, who wrote his works on early British history long before archeologists dug up the bulk of such knowledge as is now available on the Collegia, and therefore, in certain fundamentals of this subject he needs revision. The same applies to the Rosicrucian question and other such matters of vital importance in the historical survey.
In making this apparatus of critical notes (such as one finds in modern editions of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) an editor could at the same time incorporate all the references to Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, which would in itself be a much appreciated service to students who have access to those incomparable sources; could give reference to the appropriate pages of Gould's larger History; and at the same time could include titles of books valuable on the subjects treated in such wise as to furnish a reader a complete bibliography on Masonic history, a thing lacking from the book as it now stands.
Another suggestion may be made. Gould apparently had almost no literary sense; as sentences crowded into his mind he wrote them down, crammed them in, and then interlarded them with citations, quotations and digressions, of which the last was a favorite device, and dangerous as it was favorite, so that the result was a composite of numberless facts and confusing ramifications. The present writer, if he is permitted to inject a personal word here, has read the book through some ten or twelve times, and keeps it ever in reach; it is one of the most useful reference works in existence. But alas! all this use has never reconciled him to the literary formlessness of the volume, or made it any easier for him to pick his way through the labyrynthine paragraphs. Gould appeared to be willing to let the reader get along as he best might; Huxley's great dictum, that a writer must not only write so as to make it possible to be understood, but so as to make it impossible to be misunderstood, never dawned upon our "Masonic Thucydides".
It would facilitate the use of the book and also add to its salability (here one casts a glance toward the publisher) if the whole volume were to be re‑chaptered and each chapter given a descriptive head. These shorter and more coherently arranged chapters could then be further divided by descriptive subheads, all of which could act as signboards by the way and thus ease the journey of the traveler through what is to most readers a toilsome journey. Such helps as these would in nowise interfere with the text itself.
If a reader is curious to try an experiment let him turn to page 272 of the new Macoy edition and try to follow the story. First he is in Irish history; suddenly he is catapulted into Scotland; then back suddenly to England, with puzzling digressions thrown in; and once again sharply brought back to a mixture of Irish and Scotch. This confusion could be well nigh eliminated by a few subheads or sideheads.
The new edition is convenient to the hand, and printed in good clear type. In its light blue cover and gold lettering it appeals to the eye, though the illustrations are about the worst ever. It is the most complete of all editions thus far issued of this famous classic, and therefore the most useful, especially to American readers.
* * *
ROSICRUCIANISM AND FREEMASONRY
"EX ORIENTE LUX," by Alfred H. Henry. Published by The Stratford Company, Boston, Mass. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research Society, St. Louis, Mo. Red Cloth, 248 pages, no index. Price $2.65 postpaid.
Rosicrucianism is one of the puzzles of history. By whom was it founded, and where? what does it teach? how large is its membership? who compose it? He would be a patient man indeed, and learned in forgotten literatures, who could offer a hard and fast reply to these questions. Bro. Arthur Edward Waite published his Real History of the Rosicrucians in 1887 and thereby cast light on the mystery; but he is now, so he has written, engaged on a new history of the brotherhood and no doubt will add much to our knowledge. The Rosicrucians, by Hargrave Jennings, published shortly before the Waite volume, dealt, as a reviewer put it, with "practically everything under the sun except the Rosicrucians." Except for these two works, and for some periodicals, such as Mercury, the public has been left largely in the dark. Lord Lytton wove a romance about the sect in his Zanoni; so did Harrison Ainsworth in Auriol; and Shelley in St. lrvyne. If one adds to these the books that dealt with Rosicrucianism incidentally, such as Mrs. Pott's Francis Bacon and His Secret Society, Harold Bayley's The Lost Language of Symbolism, and Gould's History of Freemasonry, the transactions of lodges and learned societies (there are a few essays on the subject in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum), he will have about exhausted the list of volumes available to the general public and will meanwhile, perhaps, have reached no very definite conclusions for himself.
The principal value of Mr. Henry's Ex Oriente Lux to the average reader not a Rosicrucianist is that in it will be found, in elementary form, something of the teachings of the sect as now organized in this land, for the book is, as the author himself describes it, "A discussion [in informal lecture form] of the Method of Approach, to the fundamental Principles of Rosicrucian Doctrine, on the part of those who have become habituated to Western ideas and modes of thinking."
It is difficult to make a critical appraisal of this book, even though one may entertain toward its author and his aim the most sympathetic good will, and that for two fundamental reasons. For one thing the teachings of Rosicrucianism are largely "reserved", as Roman Catholic theologians would express it, and also because those same teachings derive their authority, at least according to the claims made, from sources entirely outside of common knowledge. How can one know anything about the "Great School", hidden in some remote country, of which Rosicrucians claim to be representatives and disciples ? or of the Rosicrucian teachings not given to the public ? or of those "Ancient Mysteries" (to which be peace!) which are evidently interpreted in Rosicrucian circles in a manner not at all in consonance with the findings of general scholarship, and of which the Brotherhood is said to be "the modern custodian" ? Confronted by these mysteries an outsider has no recourse but to lay his hand over his mouth and say nothing.
The second difficulty in the way of appraising Ex Oriente Lux is that its author makes use of so many abstract highly generalized words about which hardly any two men can agree in definition; here are a few, selected at random, and all of them capitalized: Absolute, Omnific, Manifestation, Life, Affirmation, Spirit, Hidden House, etc. Any one of these terms, or of a hundred others like them, may mean any one of a thousand things, but the author furnishes no definitions of them, so that a reader soon finds himself in cloudland, and somewhat worried by his situation. This ready use of what William James called "solving words" - words that appear to mean much, but usually do not in the connections in which they are used, and often used blindly, like magical formulas - is treacherous at best, and all the more so in an attempt to make clear to readers doctrines already sufficiently difficult of understanding.
One example will suffice. If one inquires of the author as to what he means by a "Hidden House" he receives this amazing reply:
"The Sacred Books of the East all have their Light and Wisdom of the Hidden House as their theme. Ancient Mystery Schools were all Schools of Interpretation of its Symbolic teaching.
"The highest thought of Western Writers and thinkers - the Poets from Goethe to Walt Whitman, including Tennyson, Browning and Lowell; the novelists from Bulwer‑Lytton to H. G. Wells; the Philosophers from Ralph Cudworth to Emerson and Wm. James and Henri Bergson - has been inspired by the conviction that light could be won by the earnest seeker, from behind the veil, which guarded a most precious body of truth from premature discovery and profane exploitation."
After this definition, which must profoundly surprise a reader, it is added that "Freemasonry presupposes the existence of this Hidden House, and its pre‑eminent importance." Did Freemasonry derive this doctrine from the Rosicrucians? The author apparently thinks so because he quotes with seeming approval these paragraphs from Mercury, "the official organ of the Societas Rosicruciana in America":
"Freemasonry certainly did not 'spring' from Rosicrucianism. Yet, in a perfectly legitimate manner, the Rosicrucian Fraternity was the parent of genuine Freemasonry.
"The Rosicrucians perpetuated, from antiquity, both the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries. At a time when all arcane bodies suffered persecution, it assimilated with various contemporary craft gilds, principally of an operative character, invested with legitimate symbology, and shaped the Drama of the Temple Builders into a philosophic allegory.
"When freedom of thought and action was assured, the gradual coalition of these gilds was attempted, and, from this movement, the modern phase of Freemasonry was evolved. Thus Rosicrucianism is what might be called the foster‑parent of Freemasonry, yet preserving to Freemasonry all the enhancement of the dignity of age and an illustrious and legitimate descent from antiquity."
Here are a number of statements which, if they could be substantiated, would completely upset the entire structure of Masonic history as it has been built up by careful and painstaking scholarship during the past forty years. In such a connection the burden of proof falls back on the author.
* * *
A NOTE CONCERNING "THE BUILDERS"
In my review of Bro. Joseph Fort Newton's The Builders, published last month, page 121, I incorporated in the last paragraph the suggestion that a list of questions for discussion might well be included, also that the bibliography could be made more accurate as to titles. Since that paragraph was penned a copy of the book as most recently printed by Doran for the M.S.A. National Masonic Library has come to hand and shows that my suggestions appeared late on the scene, inasmuch as the bibliography has been revised and enlarged, and the "Questions on The Builders," compiled by the Cincinnati Masonic Study Club, Cincinnati, Ohio, have been added. These changes will render yet more valuable a book that has already proved of such great utility to Masons.
* * *
THE GREEK IDEA OF MYSTERY IN INITIATION
To the Greeks and to many primitive people the rites of birth, marriage and death were for the most part family rites needing little or no social emphasis. But the rite which concerned the whole tribe, the essence of which was entrance into the tribe, was the rite of initiation at puberty. This all‑important fact is oddly and significantly enshrined in the Greek language. The general Greek word for rite was telete. It was applied to all mysteries, and sometimes to marriages and funerals. But it has nothing to do with death. It comes from a root meaning "to grow up." The word telete means rite of growing up, becoming complete. It meant at first maturity, then rite of maturity, then by a natural extension any rite of initiation that was mysterious. The rites of puberty were in their essence mysterious, because they consisted in initiation into the sanctities of the tribe, the things which society sanctioned and protected, excluding the uninitiated, whether they were young boys, women, or members of other tribes. Then, by contagion, the mystery notion spread to other rites.
- "Ancient Art and Ritual," Jane Harrison, p. 112.
* * *
A‑1 LODGES IN C‑3 ENVIRONMENTS
BY BRO. WM. N. PONTON, Grand Master, Canada
Unless the officers of a lodge are men of light and leadership, full of kindling power, the agenda will drag and there will be many empty interstices of precious time. Masonry, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Fill every minute with good craftsmanship - draw out latent talent - generously but discriminately divide the work. It may sound heretical but I personally would like to see the opening formalities of the several degrees much shortened, and the Junior Warden's lecture - that gymnastic test of mnemonics - considerably curtailed, or divided as it is in other jurisdictions. Encourage your members not to come to lodge alone always bring a neighboring brother - there is great joy as we walk and talk by the way and a pleasant companion is as good as a coach. Rain or shine commence on time and have all your members realize that at every regular meeting one‑half hour will be specially featured along educational or inspirational lines, led by brethren whose pride it will be to prepare and share. The apprentices have covenanted to learn; we have covenanted to teach. To secure a good attendance it is not necessary to have buffoonery or vaudeville at the refreshment table. Do not mistake vulgarity for vivacity, or excitement for refined and happy pleasure. Do not go beyond the bounds of the Craft for "talent," except in those rare cases where an outstanding public man (who may not be a Mason) may be desirous of propagating the knowledge of some subject of general interest which he has made peculiarly his own. Above all let your members go away satisfied and feeling that they have been factors in the work and social pleasure of the lodge, and not spectators and side‑benchers only. The eyes and ears are the way to the heart. True Masons are as willing to please as to be pleased - to share their gifts - to enlarge the horizon of their friendships. Give them ample opportunity - set the pace - keep the step - keep the touch. Rally together - stand together, work together, lift together - and all will be well. One final suggestion on this vital matter of present attendance and activity - make and keep your lodge‑rooms and precincts worthy of the "House Beautiful." Ventilate well both ideas and atmosphere. You cannot have clear thoughts in foul air; you cannot have an A‑1 lodge in C‑3 environment.
THE QUESTION BOX
SCOTTISH RITE RITUALS NOT FOR SALE
Is it possible for an individual Scottish Rite Mason to purchase a copy of the Scottish Rite Rituals?
M.G.T., Philippine Islands.
Replying to yours relative to the inquiry from the Philippine Islands regarding the purchase of the rituals of the Scottish Rite, 4d to 32d, beg to inform you that rituals are provided only to the regularly authorized subordinate bodies of the Sdottish Rite and never furnished to any individuals. Therefore, they are not for sale at any price.
H.W. Witcover, Sec’y Gen'l, A.&A.S.S.R., S.J.
* * *
GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND'S NEW TEMPLE
Is the report true that the Grand Lodge of England is to remove from its present site?
A. J., Dist. of Columbia.
There was some talk of moving but it has now been settled that the Grand Lodge's new temple will be erected on the present site in Great Queen's street.
* * *
STATISTICAL STANDING OF THE ACACIA FRATERNITY
Can you please give me information about the size of the Acacia Fraternity in comparison with other college fraternities?
According to Baird's Manual the Acacia Fraternity ranks twenty-sixth among other college fraternities as to membership; it has 6,130 members as against Beta Theta Pi's 28,897, the largest, and Beta Sigma Rho's 240, the smallest. Baird lists sixty‑six fraternities. The first to be organized was Kappa Alpha in 1825; the last, Omega Beta Pi, 1919. Acacia ranks thirty‑sixth in date, having been founded in 1904. The Triad, official journal of Acacia, edited by Bro. T. Hawley Tapping, 1511 Brooklyn avenue, Ann Arbor, Mich., reports Acacia as now having thirty‑one chapters; Baird lists it twentysixth in order of the number of chapters and twenty‑sixth in order of number of chapter houses owned.
* * *
THE TRIAL OF THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR
Please tell me where I can find authentic information about the celebrated trial of the Knights Templar.
You will find an excellent account of the suppression of the Templar Order in THE BUILDER, November and December, 1916, written by Dr. Frederick Hamilton, Grand Secretary, Massachusetts. Charlotte Yonge's vivid story of the same catastrophe, sometimes described as "the great crime of the Middle Ages," was published in THE BUILDER, October, 1923, page 314. The most authoritative of all accounts in book form is to be found in Henry Charles Lea's A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, Vol. III, Book 3, chapter 5, Harper's edition, 1888. Lord Acton, the greatest Roman Catholic scholar of the last century, said of Lea that "this American has said the last word on his subject." Lea was an independent and impartial scholar who made the subject his life work. You can place entire confidence in his account. It contains some interesting matter about Jacques De Molay, the hero of the Order of De Molay. The Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. XXVI, page 597, condenses much information into one paragraph:
"All France was at this time under the jurisdiction of the inquisition, and the inquisition could act without consulting the Pope. The Grand Inquisitor of France, William of Paris, was Phillip's confessor and creature. The way was thus open for the King to carry out his plan by a perfectly legal method. His informers denounced the Templars to the inquisition, and the Grand Inquisitor - as was the customary procedure in the ease of persons accused of heresy - demanded their arrest by the civil power."
* * *
THAT FAMOUS DOLLAR BILL
The report has been circulating among our lodge members that a dollar bill of the 1917 series contains carefully disguised religious pictures or emblems, and that the engraver of the bill was discharged from the Department for perpetrating it. What is the truth about this matter?
The same inquiry as yours was referred to Senator Simeon D. Fess by David H. Pierce, Akron, Ohio. Senator Fess sent the inquiry on to Louis A. Hill, Director of the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Mr. Hill's reply settles the matter:
"I am in receipt of your letter making inquiry as to the design on the one‑dollar United States note of the 1917 series:
"This particular note was designed and engraved by a bank note company, under contract with the Treasury Department before the establishment of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 1872, and has been used in various series since 1869. When the Government took over all the material in the possession of the contracting bank note companies the die for this note was delivered to the Treasury Department and no one in the Government service has any knowledge of the identity of the designer or the engraver, or any knowledge or in formation as to the motive for the engraving into the design the serpent in the lower left‑hand corner.
"As to the alleged portrait in the upper left‑hand corner, which has been described as the portrait of the Virgin Mary and also of the Pope, an examination of this ornament with a reading glass will disclose that it consists of the petals of a flower which may be seen best by holding the note with the upper left‑hand corner toward you.
"Issue of the current series of all silver certificates, United States notes and Federal notes will be superseded by a new series of uniform designs for all classes as soon as plates for same have been completed. This action will retire the one‑dollar note of 1917 series above referred to."
* * *
INFORMATION ABOUT FREEMASONRY IN INDIA
A brother of mine in the British Army has written to ask me to find out for him when Freemasonry was established in India. Do Masons in India have a journal or other source of information ?
H. G., New York.
Freemasonry was carried to India by military lodges in the British Army. The oldest permanent lodge was established in Calcutta, 1730; next came a lodge at Madras, 1752, and then Bombay, 1758. Recommend your brother to subscribe for The Masonic Journal of Northern India, addressing the Editor, P. S. Humm, 23 Abbott Road, Lucknow, India. Gould's Concise History, a new and complete edition of which has just been issued by Macoy, condenses into one paragraph the data concerning the present strength of Freemasonry in that ancient land, the home of Buddha and of the Brahmans:
"In Bombay, the most brilliant era of the Craft is inseparably connected with the memory of Dr. James Burnes, by whom, in order to throw open the portals of Freemasonry to native gentlemen, a lodge - Rising Star of Western India - was established in December, the first regular meeting there were two initiations, one of the candidates being a Parsee and the other a Mohammedan, both ranking among the most highly cultured of their own people; and, in the following July, there were present in lodge nine native brethren, three of whom were followers of Zoroaster, two of Confucius, and four of Mahomet, but all assembled with the followers of Christ to worship the Masons' God. In the three Presidencies - with Aden and Burma - there are at the present time 210 lodges under the English, 6S under the Scottish and 12 under Irish jurisdiction. Twelve of these British lodges are located in Ceylon."
* * *
GRAND LODGE RANKING ACCORDING TO MEMBERSHIP
How does the Grand Lodge of New Jersey rank among other Grand Lodges according to its membership ?
E. A. R., New Jersey.
According to statistics compiled by Bro. C. C. Hunt June 30, 1923, New Jersey ranks twelfth in the list with 73,854. While you are at it you may wish to see the standing of all Grand Lodges, including Philippine Islands. The table here given was compiled by Bro. C. F. Willard, editor of the San Diego Master Mason:
Total as of June 30 2,850,910
* * *
DEDICATION OF HOUSE OF THE TEMPLE
One of the members of our lodge has asked to know when the House of the Temple, headquarters of the Scottish Rite, S. J., was dedicated.
D. W. A., Ohio.
The House of the Temple, located at 16th and S streets, Washington, D. C., was dedicated Monday, Oct. 18, 1915. The Secretary General, Bro. H.W. Witcover, may be able to supply you with a copy of the General Program then used, if you will write him for one. In that connection you may be interested to read the historical account printed in that program:
"This noble and imposing structure, to be dedicated to the uses and purposes of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, is a monument to the wisdom of the founders of the Order, the power and influence of the Rite, and the beauty and symmetry of its teachings and philosophy.
"It is Freemasonry carved in stone; it is a great symbol in itself, epitomizes the old truths which have come down through the ages from the most remote antiquity and saw the first dawn of human intelligence bursting through the thick mists and fogs of mere animal instinct when lighted by a spark of Love Divine.
"As no combination of words can fitly convey a sense of the beauty of a sunset, a lily, or an infant's smile, neither can any description adequately express the grandeur of conception, the lofty thoughts, the eclectic philosophy cemented here into one noble block destined to withstand the storms of time and be a beacon light, through which its ancient prototype will continue to project rays of Charity, Toleration and Loving Kindness over the whole world.
"For many years the Mother Council of the World held its meetings in Charleston, S.C., in a building still standing. Its headquarters were then moved to Washington, and by steady growth and accretions of property the House of the Temple, situated at 433 Third street, N. W., became the Mecca of Scottish Rite Masons from all parts of the world. Therein died the greatest of Masons, Albert Pike, followed closely by James C. Batchelor and Philip C. Tucker. After them came Thomas H. Caswell and James D. Richardson, all of whom have left a lasting impression on the institution which the present Sovereign Grand Commander, the scholarly George F. Moore, is confidently expected to continue and increase by his faithful service and the growing influence of the Rite.
"All these have created an atmosphere which will remain with the old House of the Temple for a long time to come, and the parting from such hallowed associations will bring a feeling of present loneliness and sadness.
"But the marvelous growth of the Rite demands greater facilities, greater scope for the exercise of its powers, which will be given it by this building, furnishing not only room and opportunity for efficient service, but an inspiration and an incentive for redoubled efforts in the cause of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in its beneficent, self‑imposed labor of assisting in the elevation Of humanity to a higher plane, of spreading the gospel of peace and concord through all nations and peoples, of diffusing the glow and warmth of compassion and sympathy for those sorrowing and afflicted, and of fostering a sturdy patriotism, a good citizenship, and manly independence, not only amongst its immediate membership, but by their example throughout the civilized 38,348 world. Esto perpetua."
* * *
WHAT WERE THE CHERUBIM?
Of all the degrees in Freemasonry that I have been privileged to take I am frank to say I like the Royal Arch about the best. Why can't we have more literature about it? In that connection may I ask, What were the cherubim?
D. B. T., Illinois.
An adequate Royal Arch literature is sadly lacking, but if the leaders in the Rite are successful in their plans that deficiency will be made up before very long. It is difficult to give a satisfactory answer to your query about the cherubim. In the first chapter of Ezekiel you will find a description of "four living creatures." They possessed the "hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; the four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle." Ezekiel does not name these creatures but commentators have agreed in calling them cherubim. Ezekiel's pages, it should be noted, were written after the Exile. In the fourth chapter of the Book of Revelation is a similar description. John saw, assembled about the Throne, "four beasts." "The first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf; and the third beast had the face of a man; and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle." Here again the "beasts" are not named but commentators have called them cherubim. Commenting on the cherubim Josephus, in his Antiquities, says, while describing the Ark, "Upon its cover were placed two images, which the Hebrews call 'cherubim'; they are flying creatures, but their form is not like that of any of the creatures which men have seen, though Moses said he had seen such beings near the throne of God." In the same book he describes the creatures placed by Solomon in the Temple and evidently implies that they were in effect the same as those earlier used by Moses; the Rabbins have called these cherubim.
It appears that the Royal Arch banner on which the cherubim are emblazoned was first used in the middle of the eighteenth century in England, and was perhaps designed by Laurence Dermott, whose fertile mind did so much to shape the practices of the Ancient Grand Lodge, from which the first Grand Chapter of Royal Arch very possibly derived. As to the meaning of the cherubim in the Royal Arch, that, is difficult to ascertain seeing that Royal Arch writers and monitorialists have said little or nothing on the subject: Webb does not mention the cherubim, nor does Cross in his Masonic Chart, nor Mackey, in his Book of the Chapter. Sherville and Gould's Guide contains the lectures as now usually given but offer no interpretations. It is a subject awaiting research; would you not care to go into it yourself ?
It is believed by many Assyriologists (Lenormant, for example) that the word "cherubim" derived from the Assyrian "kirubi", and originally had reference to the winged bulls which functioned as genii, each having the body of a bull, great outstretched wings, and the face of a man, the duty of which was to cover worshippers with their protecting power. Others trace the conception back to Egypt in the Egyptian use of winged vultures, with wings outstretched. Consult Mackey's Encyclopaedia, page 145.
* * *
A BOOK ABOUT FOREIGN MASONRY IS RECOMMENDED
In reply to a question in THE BUI1DER, March 1924, page 94, I may say that a book covering this question will be found in the Annual Directory published by M. W. Bro. Quartier‑le‑Tente P.G.M., Grand Lodge Alpina, Switzerland, the price of which is, I believe, seven francs Swiss. Some two years ago he also published an illustrated Two Centuries of Freemasonry which contains a great deal of information about European Freemasonry and the Grand Lodges with which it is in fraternal relations. His address is, I believe, 26 Beaux Arts, Neuchatel, Switzerland.
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada.
* * *
ANENT GOULD'S LIST OF FAMOUS AMERICAN MASONS
Bro. Gould's list of Masons in the war of the Revolution [THE BUILDER, March 1924, page 78] omits several names on record in Albany, N.Y., at least one which should be in the list, as it is not generally known that he was a Mason. Brig. Gen. John Starke signed the roster of Masters Lodge, No. 2 (now No. 5), during the year 1778, his name being thirteenth of the twenty-six who signed that year.
This agrees with his war record as it will be recalled that he resigned early in March 1777, but must have gone back into the service promptly as the Battle of Bennington, in which he took prominent part, was fought August 16, 1777. He was commissioned Brig. Gen. of Militia and later of the Continental Army, and for part of 1778 was in command of the Northern Department; and during that period joined Masters Lodge.
The next name after his on the roster is Daniel Shays, but that will not likely find a place on Bro. Gould's list. There are several other names on this roster signed with military titles prefixed. Col. Henry B. Livingston signed about one year before General Starke, and Lt. Col. Henry A. Van Rensselaer near the end of 1779.
According to Bro. Ossian Lang, Gen. Morgan Lewis was initiated in Union, No. 1, at Albany in 1778, but his name does not appear on its roster. No. 233 is vacant having been left for some brother who failed to sign, but this is the only break in the continuity of names. The signatures prior to No. 274 are not dated so it is impossible to tell whether 233 would come in 1778 or not. There are no names on the roster of Union, No. 1, with military titles but in Masters Lodge, No. 2, the titles run from Serg't Major Geo. Knox to Brig. Gen. John Starke, with a few naval titles to keep up the prestige of the Navy.
Walter R. Marden, New York.
* * *
THE HIGHEST MASONIC LODGE
Some time ago I read in some Masonic publication of a lodge somewhere in South America as the highest above sea level of any lodge in the world.
In the summit of Owl's Head mountain in the Province of Quebec, Canada, there is a natural amphitheater of solid rock in which Golden Rule Lodge, No. 5, of Stanstead, Quebec, holds an annual communication 2,580 feet above sea level and from which the White mountains in New Hampshire, and the Green in Vermont, can be seen.
There is a world of beautiful sentiment connected with such heroic relations to nature and any information regarding this "highest lodge in the world" will be gratefully received.
L.B. Mitchell, Michigan.
* * *
"History of the Eastern Star," by Kennaston.
"Caliph of Bagdad," by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.
"Genius of Freemasonry," by Buck.
Vol. I, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.
Vol. XXXII, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. Both must be complete and with St. John's Cards.
"Records of the Hole Crafte and Fellowship of Masons," by Edward Conder.
"Restorations of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry," by H. P. H. Bromwell.
"History of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite," by Robert Folger.
Bound volume THE BUILDER, 1918.
"Robert Burns and Freemasonry," by Dudley Wright.
"The Masonic Year," for years 1920, 1921 and 1924. Pubished by Masonic History Company, Chicago.
"I am anxious to secure loose copies of THE Bul1DER for the years 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918. I wish them complete from the first number, twelve copies for each year, unbound, with original covers as issued. Any brother who may have these to dispose of will please address a letter to me giving price and other details." - Edwin B. Hill, Ysleta, Texas.
Send description and prices to Book Department, National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo.
* * *
YE EDITOR'S CORNER
For free distribution: A leaflet containing President Harding's last speech, an address to Hollywood Commandery, No. 56, K. T. Send your name and address on a post card if you wish a copy. They won't last long. Also a booklet on the "Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm."
More copies of the present issue of THE BUlLDER have been printed than of any other issue thus far published. We are growing.
Shiloh Lodge, No. 1, A. F. & A. M., Fargo, North Dakota, presents each new candidate raised with a membership in the N. M. R. S. Several lodges are now doing this. Why not get your lodge in line?
We are starting a special research group on "the Bible in Masonry." Do you wish to join it ? Write Ye Editor.
Attention, Masonic architects! If you would like to publish a book on Masonic architecture, with plans and illustration, write us; we have an interesting proposal.
It has been proved that President Monroe was a Mason. We have ourselves recently unearthed evidence to show that President Arthur was also possibly a member. In event of the latter's membership the list of known Masonic Presidents will be increased from ten to twelve.
Any Masonic body wishing to use The School Bell in quantities is urged to write us at once.
The New England Craftsman has featured this fetching bit of poetry:
"Isn't it strange that Princes and Kings
And clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
And common folks like you and me,
Are Builders for Eternity?
To each is given a bag of tools
A shapeless mass and a book of rules;
And each must make, ere life is flown
A stumbling block or a stepping stone."
MAY BOOK LIST
(All Prices Postpaid)
Builder, The, in Bound Volumes
1921, 1922 and 1923 cannot be sold separately; other years at $3.75 per volume. Complete set of nine bound volumes.
By JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
The most widely read of all Masonic books. Covers Masonic beginnings, known history, and furnishes interpretation of the general ideals and teachings of the Craft. (See review in THE BUILDER, April 1924.) Blue cloth, 343 pages, index bibliography, questions. $2.15
Their Predecessors and Their Successors;
Including Further Notes on the Comacines
By W. RAVENSCROFT
The only work on the subject available in English. Paper, fully illustrated, 43 pages. $1.00
Concise History of Freemasonry
By R. F. GOULD
Gives in condensed form the materials of his larger "History." The standard one volume history of Masonry in English. Cloth.
Consolidated Index to The Builder'
Covers years 1915 to 1919, inclusive. Paper 50 pages.
Early History and Records of the Lodge, Aberdeen 1ter
By A.L. MlLLER
An exceedingly valuable little book that explains much concerning Operative Masonry. ( See extended review in THE BUILDER, November, 1923.) Cloth, 74 pages. $1.35
Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry
By ALBERT G. MACKEY
Two large volumes of 943 pages combined. Second volume contains glossary giving pronunciation and meaning of all Masonic words in general use. De Luxe fabrikoid binding, generously illustrated. $16.00
Evolution of Freemasonry
By DELMAR DARRAH
A popular history of Freemasonry; heavy coated paper, firm green cloth binding, reinforced back, many illustrations, index, 422 pages. $5.15
Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges
By LIONEL VIBERT
A condensed scholarly book; embodies findings of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research on Masonic history prior to 1717. A standard work. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, October, 1917.) Cloth, 164 pages. $1.90
Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750
By MELVIN M. JOHNSON, P.G.M., Mass.
The only work in existence covering its period and subject. A careful compilation of important data. Cloth, 225 pages.$1.35
Freemasonry, Its Aims and Ideals
By J. S. M. WARD
A bold discussion of a number of controversial questions. Blue cloth, 232 pages. $4.15
Gospel of Freemasonry
By "UNCLE SILAS
Moralizings on Masonry conceived in a new vein. Popular. Selling with rapidity. Third edition. Cloth, 60 pages. $1.00
Great Teachings of Masonry
By H. L. HAYWOOD
A "philosophy of Masonry" in popular form. Expounds each of the important teachings of the Craft in 18 chapters. Blue cloth, index, 187 pages, bibliography. $2.15
History of the Knights Templar
By C. G. ADDISON
A standard work for Masonic Knights Illustrated, cloth, 670 pages.$3.95
Humanum Genus By ALBERT PIKE
A reply to Pope Leo XIII's bull against Freemasonry. Paper, 52 pages. 15 cents
Jokes for All Occasions (Anonymous)
An assistance to speech makers of the post‑prandial variety. Cloth, 368 pages. $1.10
Lectures on Masonic Jurisprudence
By ROSCOE POUND, Dean of the Department of Law
Based on lectures delivered in 1911‑1912.Five chapters. Blue cloth, index, 112 pages.$1.65
Lodge and the Craft
By ROLLIN C. BLACKMER
(See review in THE BUILDER, November, 1923.) An exposition of the work of the Three Degrees. Cloth, portrait, 297 pages. $3.00
Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry
By ROBERT I. CLEGG
The most monumental work ever published in America. Seven large volumes with total of 2376 pages; illustrated; De Luxe fabrikoid binding; exhaustive index. $56.00
Masonic Legends and Traditions
By DUDLEY WRIGHT
(Reviewed in THE BUILDER, February, 1922. Review by A. E. Waite reprinted in THE BUILDER, July, 1922.) Cloth, 152 pages. $1.65
Masons as Makers of America
By MADISON C. PETERS
A popular account of Freemasonry in the Revolutionary Period. Last edition. Cloth, 80 pages.$1.10
Master's Lectures, The
By the Worshipful Master of Evans Lodge
Twelve chapters on Initiation, Fraternity Toleration etc. Gold embossed binding, 8x11 inches 108 pages, limited edition. $5.15
Meaning, The, of Masonry
By W. L. WILMSHURST
An interpretation of the general ideals and teachings of the Craft from a mystical and occult point of view. Black cloth, 216 pages. $3.25
By ALFRED LAWRENCE
Covers about same ground as Gould's work on same subject, but condensed. Paper covers, 45 pages. 35 cents
By CORA WILSON STEWART
A thrilling account of the war being waged on adult illiteracy in the United States by the woman who started the "moonlight school" movement. Cloth. 194 pages. $2.10
Mormonism and Masonry
By S. H. GOODWIN, Grand Secretary, Utah
Printed for the Craft by the Grand Lodge of Utah. Deals with a little known chapter in the history of American Masonry. Paper binding, 38 pages. 25 cents
Philosophy of Freemasonry
By ROSCOE POUND, Dean of the Department of Law Harvard University.
Five chapters covering the leading Masonic philosophers. Blue cloth, 96 pages. $1.35
Questions on The Builders
A booklet compiled by the Cincinnati Masonic Study Club to be used in connection with "The Builders" (see in this list under "B") by Joseph Fort Newton. Paper 13 pages, closely printed. 15 cents
Roman Catholicism and Freemasonry
By DUDLEY WRIGHT
A scholarly, non‑controversial statement, incorporating most of the important official documents. Blue cloth 251 pages, index. $4.15
By H. L. HAYWOOD. Editor, THE BUILDER
A popular brief interpretation of the Fellowcraft Degree. Pamphlet, blue paper, 16 pages. 16 cents
Speeches, Their Preparation and Delivery
By ALEXANDER BURTON
A handy text book for the budding orator. Cloth, 251 pages. $1.10
Story, The, of Old Glory The Oldest Flag
By J. W. BARRY, P. G. M., Iowa
A story of the Flag and Masonry. Reprinted from THE BUILDER. Paper covers, illustrated, 20 pages. 60c
By H. L. HAYWOOD, Editor, THE BUILDER
Especially suited for use by Study Clubs. Prefaced by a condensed history of Freemasonry. Interprets the work of the Three Degrees. Questions for discussion index, blue cloth, 380 pages.$2.15
Symbolism of the First Degree
BY A. W. GAGE
Elementary introduction. Good for Entered Apprentices. Pamphlet, paper, 12 pages. 15cents
Symbolism of the Third Degree
By J. OTIS BALL
Elementary study to be read by newly raised Masons Pamphlet, paper, 16 pages. 15cents
Symbolism of the Three Degrees
By OLIVER DAY STREET
Explains important symbols of the Three Degrees. (See Review in THE BUILDER, December, 1923). Blue cloth 96 pages, index, bibliography. $1.35
Things a Freemason Should Know
By FRED J. W. CROWE
Condensed information about the organization and activities of English Freemasonry. Blue cloth. 1.35 pages.
Thomson, The, Masonic Fraud
By ISAAC BLAIR EVANS
Bro. Evans was the attorney employed by Masonic bodies in case against Thomson. (See review in THE BUILDER, October, 1923.) Authentic, complete, blue cloth, index, 268 pages.$2.65
Vest Pocket History of Freemasonry
BY H. L. HAYWOOD, Editor, THE BUILDER
Has been largely used for presentation purposes. More than 40,000 distributed. Special prices in quantities Art paper covers, 36 pages. 25c;
Woman and Freemasonry
By DUDLEY WRIGHT
Especially valuable to students of the Order of the Eastern Star. Contains accounts of So‑called "women Masons." Cloth, 184 pages $1.90
All Prices Postpaid
The National Masonic Research Society is a non‑commercial organization that pays neither profits nor dividends. All profits are returned to the working treasury to be used to increase its service to the Craft. Its Book Department exists for no other purpose than the convenience of its members.
National Masonic Research Society
1950 Railway Exchange
St. Louis, Mo.
[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership
Development] [Education] [Masonic
This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United
States or elsewhere.
Last modified: March 22, 2014